Porters Chapel defense holds off Benton, 7-0

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 14, 2002

Joseph Ivey of Porters Chapel is dragged down just shy of the goal line by a Benton Academy player in the first half of the Eagles’ 7-0 win over the Academy-AA Raiders on Friday night. (The Vicksburg Post/C. todd sherman)

[10/12/02]Ryan Hoben’s first start at quarterback this season was at times sloppy, but the result was anything but.

The Porters Chapel Academy junior tossed a 59-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Ivey just before halftime and then helped the Eagles’ defense secure a 7-0 win over Academy-AA Benton Academy on a homecoming Friday night.

“Our defense was playing really good,” Hoben said. “We knew we had to step up because they are a bigger school.”

The Eagles (5-3) also kept their strong playoff hopes alive by getting valuable power points. More power points are awarded if a team beats a school in a larger classification and at the end of the season, the points are used to determine the state playoff wild-card teams.

“We still have to go to work and have some improving to do on offense,” PCA coach Bubba Mims said. “Hoben did a really good job for us.”

An inspired Eagles’ defense picked off Benton quarterback Patrick Shipp twice one each by Humphrey Barlow and Kenny Simms and had to hold on as Benton tried to find the end zone on a furious last possession.

The Raiders took over at their own 15-yard line with 1 minute, 3 seconds to play in the fourth quarter and immediately connected with Daniel Perry on a 51-yard pass. Hoben came from his safety position to tackle Perry on the Eagles’ 34.

Shipp failed to connect on his next two passes, then fumbled a snap to set up a fourth down as time ran down. He grounded the ball to stop the clock, giving PCA possession with two seconds to play.

“Sometimes you make your breaks and sometimes you don’t and tonight we didn’t,” said Benton coach Rick Hammerstrom, whose team was playing PCA because the original Eagles’ opponent, Rebul, did not field an 11-man team. “We knew they were a very good ballclub and they showed it.”

The teams fumbled the ball a combined 10 times, but Benton recovered all of theirs and three of PCA’s.

Hoben finished by completing 3 of 8 passes for 106 yards all to Ivey and was intercepted once in the end zone.

The teams traded punts on the first four possessions before PCA drove to the Benton 3-yard line midway through the second quarter. The drive was highlighted by a 38-yard Josh Rush run. Rush ended the game with 87 yards on 13 carries and Gerald Mims had 56 yards on 16 carries.

A fumbled pitch scratched the Eagles’ scoring drive, but the Eagles’ defense held.

Porters Chapel drove right back down to the 4-yard line before Hoben was intercepted.

Benton handed the ball back on Barlow’s interception and Ivey scored the lone touchdown three plays later.

“He put the pass right there,” Ivey said. “All I had to do was catch it.”

The Eagles will host Deer Creek in a Conference 5-A showdown on Friday night.