PCA’s playoff hopes dashed by Deer Creek

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 21, 2002

[10/19/02]With a Conference 5-A playoff berth just within Porters Chapel Academy’s grasp, the Eagles let the opportunity slip right through their fingers.

A sloppy offense hampered by new faces at key positions led to eight turnovers in the Eagles’ 24-0 loss to Deer Creek Friday night.

The Eagles’ (5-4, 2-3) were led by Ryan Hoben’s 159 passing yards, but the Warriors’ (6-3) Hunter McIntire had a career night with three of the four Warrior interceptions while rushing for 55 yards and kicking a field goal.

“This (playoff run) ended on a heck of a night,” running back Gerald Mims said. “This was the worst game I’ve ever been involved with; just a mental breakdown.”

A tell-tale sign of the offensive breakdown was the eight total yards rushing from a PCA team that has made a living running the ball, before the loss of running back Wesley Purvis.

PCA’s troubles began on a bobbled opening kickoff, followed by two fumbles that were subsequently recovered by the Eagles’ offense in the first four plays.

The Eagles took off from there with a 30-yard pass from Hoben to Joseph Ivey, followed by three rushing plays for 28 yards that put them at the Warriors’ 33-yard line.

But the early momentum was smothered on an illegal shift penalty that negated a Mims’ 30-yard run that would have given the Eagles first-and-goal at the Warriors 1-yard line.

Deer Creek’s Carwin Harris intercepted the next pass, but was forced to punt after a 5-minute drive.

John Rush’s fumble on the Eagles’ following drive the first of four fumbles gave the Warriors the ball back after.

The teams traded punts until McIntire intercepted an Eagles’ pass at midfield with just under a minute left in the half.

The Warriors capitalized on the mistake and drove to the Eagles’ 9-yard line before having to settle for a McIntire 25-yard field goal with one second remaining on the clock for a 3-0 lead going into the half.

“You can put the blame on (turnovers) if you want, but the main thing is that we didn’t come out focused,” Eagles coach Bubba Mims said. “We didn’t have our mind on business, we had our minds on something else, and it showed.”

The Warriors took the opening kickoff of the second half 75 yards and Brett Boykin capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run and a 10-0 lead.

Chris Welch added a 2-yard touchdown run off a PCA turnover late in the third quarter for a 17-0 lead.

“The second half we played defense, and just got a little more enthusiasm,” Warriors coach Billy Ray Harber said.

The Warriors’ final touchdown came with five minutes left in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard run by Clarke Trotter for a 24-0 lead.

“We have to go out and make the best of our last game because our playoff chances are over,” Gerald Mims said.