Eagles look for Eye of the Tiger’ against Greenville

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 19, 2003

[9/19/03]Before last week’s win over Tallulah Academy, Porters Chapel Academy players watched the movie “Rocky IV” in the locker room the one where Rocky takes on and defeats the unbeatable Soviet boxer Ivan Drago.

They probably won’t watch the sequel, “Rocky V”, this week, but they’d be wise to learn a lesson from it. In that movie, Rocky’s injuries from the fight against Drago force him out of boxing and into a poverty-stricken retirement.

PCA (2-2, 1-1 Conference 5-A) will try to avoid Rocky’s fate when it hosts Greenville Christian (2-2, 0-2) tonight at 7:30.

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It may turn out to be the Eagles’ toughest game of the year. It will be hard for them to maintain the same emotional level they had against archrival Tallulah, but they must to stay in the hunt for a playoff berth.

“It’s hard to stay on that high emotional level every week, but we’re going to have to,” PCA coach Bubba Mims said. “It’s a district game, and they’re a big team. They average about 230 or 240 on the line.”

The win over Tallulah blew the race for the conference’s two playoff spots wide open. Briarfield is the front-runner, at 2-0, and surprising Sharkey-Issaquena is 1-0.

Every other team has at least one loss, with Tallulah (0-1) and Deer Creek (1-1) playing tonight in what may amount to an elimination game.

The top two teams in each conference along with two wild cards selected from throughout the MPSA ranks advance to the postseason. Conference 5-A is among the toughest in Academy-A football, making two losses difficult to overcome.

PCA is alive again after a devastating loss to SIA in the conference opener, but must avoid a letdown tonight against Greenville Christian.

“That put us back in the hunt, and it tightened up a lot of other things in the district,” Mims said of the win over Tallulah.

While PCA is riding high, Greenville Christian enters the game still looking for its first conference win. The Saints were shut out 48-0 by Briarfield last week, a game in which head coach John Baker said nothing went right.

“We ran a kickoff back about 50 yards and drove down the field. We went for it on fourth-and-inches, didn’t get it, and that was all she wrote,” Baker said.

The Saints have been a run-oriented team this season, with fullback Greg Moorman leading the way with 308 yards and three touchdowns. This week, however, Baker said he would borrow a page from his days at Rebul and go with a spread offense.

“We’re going to come out slinging the ball around,” he said.