PCA rally falls short at WCCA

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 25, 2004

[8/21/04]WOODVILLE Ruston Cado rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns, and Wilkinson County Christian held off a Porters Chapel Academy comeback in the closing minutes to score a 13-7 win.

PCA got within a touchdown with just under three minutes to play and got the ball back a minute later, but fumbled on its last possession.

“We had a tiger by the tail and we knew it,” WCCA coach Paul Hayles said. “We were very fortunate to get a lead on them, and we knew it would not be easy to maintain it.”

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The game was played in a steady rain that negated any thoughts of passing the ball. Although Hayles said the Rams intended to use a balanced attack, the weather played to his team’s strength early on.

WCCA’s offensive line averages nearly 250 pounds per man, and was able to blow open holes for their running backs at will in the first half. The Rams rushed for 142 yards in the first half, and built a 13-0 lead at the break on Cado’s two touchdown runs. The senior capped WCCA’s first drive with a 7-yard TD run midway through the first quarter, then scored from 19 yards out with 6:28 to play in the second.

“The first half, we didn’t do a very good job blocking and tackling. They whipped us on the line of scrimmage, and that was the difference in the first half,” PCA coach Randy Wright said. “The rain affected us a pretty good bit.”

Both teams got sloppy in the second half, combining for nine fumbles in the rain. PCA made a series of defensive adjustments that held the Rams to 37 rushing yards in the second half, but failed to produce an offensive spark of its own until WCCA opened the door late in the fourth quarter.

The Rams took over at their own 34-yard line with 10 minutes to play, but their drive was stalled after a pair of penalties and a muffed punt attempt.

The Eagles took over and on the next play, Chris Mixon tossed a halfback option pass to Gerald Mims to get to the 1-yard line. Mixon then finished the short drive with a touchdown run, and the Eagles cut it to 13-7.

WCCA recovered the onsides kick, but went three-and-out. The punt snap was high again, but this time the punt got off.

“We had a backup punter who’s never done it before in a game, and he looked like it,” Hayles said. “He came in the second time and did a super job It’s a good thing he’s tall. We nicknamed him Stork’.”

The Eagles still had one last shot, with the ball at their own 36. After one incompletion, WCCA linebacker LaValle Johnson came untouched off the right side and blasted PCA quarterback Michael Busby, knocking the ball loose. Wayne Covey recovered for the Rams, and they were able to run out the clock.