Briarfield upends PCA, stays unbeaten

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 4, 2002

[10/05/02]Briarfield controlled the ball in the second half and took control of the Conference 5-A title race Friday night, while Porters Chapel Academy may have lost more than just a football game.

Eric Spiller ran for 108 yards and a touchdown and J.D. Keifer added 99 yards on the ground as Briarfield rolled up 309 rushing yards and stayed unbeaten with a 28-13 win.

“That’s what we wanted. That’s our gameplan,” said Briarfield coach Jay Murphree, whose team all but clinched a playoff spot with the win. “Ten-to-12-play drives, kill the clock and play good defense.”

Wesley Purvis ran for 112 yards and a touchdown for PCA (4-3, 2-2 Conference 5-A), but may be lost for the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury in the fourth quarter.

With just under six minutes to play in the game and PCA trailing 28-13, Purvis gave the Eagles a glimmer of hope with a 34-yard run to the Briarfield 36-yard line.

A Briarfield defender rolled over his leg at the end of the run and Purvis, the county’s leading rusher with 755 yards heading into the game, said he knew right away that he was in trouble.

“He rolled on it and I felt it pop. I knew it was gone,” said Purvis, who was on crutches after the game and will have an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the injury. “Everybody’s getting down now, but we’ll keep it up. I’m not the whole team. We’ve got 20 something other guys out there.”

Purvis also sprained his knee in the first half, but returned to the game.

“I was going as long as I could. My senior season, I’m not worried about that,” Purvis said of the first injury.

Short touchdown runs by Ryle Stone and Patrick Hattaway capped scoring drives in the first half for Briarfield (7-0, 4-0) as the Rebels took a 14-13 halftime lead.

Purvis broke a 43-yard TD run after nearly being tackled in the backfield, and Gerald Mims hit Joseph Ivey who caught four passes for 97 yards for a 50-yard score just before halftime.

The extra point was no good, and it was a sign of things to come for the Eagles as mistakes plagued them throughout the second half. PCA turned the ball over three times and made several drive-killing mistakes in the passing game.

Briarfield took the second-half kickoff and drove 65 yards in eight plays to increase the lead to 21-13, capping the drive with a 38-yard TD run by Patrick Hattaway.

The teams exchanged fumbles deep in PCA territory before the Eagles found some success with the passing game. PCA quarterback Gerald Mims completed three of four passes to move the ball from his own 5 yard line to the Briarfield 36 with about three minutes to play in the quarter.

The drive stalled there, however, as incomplete routes and bad throws piled up. The Eagles threw six straight incompletions and took a sack on their next seven offensive plays.

“They were giving us the pass. We knew we had to throw on them some, and we could and we did,” PCA coach Bubba Mims said. “There were some mistakes that killed us.”

The miscues spanned two possessions, and the Rebels took advantage of them by marching 97 yards for the game-clinching score. Briarfield drove the length of the field in 12 plays and took just under six minutes off the clock, scoring on a 3-yard run by Spiller with 5:49 to play in the game.

“Our linemen, we told them they had to go out and block for us to win,” Spiller said. “They picked it up and allowed us backs to run.”

On the first play after Spiller’s touchdown, Purvis broke his final run of the game to put the Eagles in good field position. On the next play, however, fullback Josh Rush lost the ball as he fought for extra yardage and the Eagles’ hopes were lost with it.

They got the ball back one final time with just under four minutes to play, but Gerald Mims’ desperation pass on fourth-and-27 was intercepted.