Warner pulverizes Southaven, Vicksburg’s mistakes costly, PCA rolls, St. Al falls
Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 2, 2004
Porters Chapel 48, Greenville Christian 0
Before Friday night’s home opener, Porters Chapel Academy players and fans shed a tear for a fallen friend.
Gerald Mims and Chris Mixon each caught one touchdown and ran for another, and five different players scored for PCA (1-1) in a 48-0 demolition of Greenville Christian. The Eagles held the Saints to 26 yards of total offense and only two first downs one of them on a roughing-the-kicker penalty late in the fourth quarter.
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“It’s great for our morale. Our kids came out focused tonight. I thought we did a great job from the first snap. They came out and executed, and played the game the way it was supposed to be played,” said Randy Wright, who earned his first victory as PCA’s head coach. “It’s a big win.”
It was an emotional night for the Eagles. Before the game, a brief ceremony was held at midfield to dedicate the season to former coach Bubba Mims, who passed away on May 16. Once the game started, the Eagles put on a show that would have made their mentor proud.
On PCA’s third play from scrimmage, quarterback Michael Busby dumped a screen pass to Mixon, who beat a defender around the corner and used a block to reach the sideline.
He went the rest of the way untouched for a 62-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
“I definitely think it sparked us and got us going, and set the tone for the rest of the ballgame,” Wright said. PCA had been stuffed on two running plays before the pass on third-and-12.
Greenville (0-1) held PCA on its next possession, but a muffed punt set up a 1-yard TD plunge by Gerald Mims three plays later. After another three-and-out by the Saints, Mims caught a pass over the middle and ran over and through the Greenville defense for an 18-yard score and a 21-0 lead with 19 seconds to play in the first quarter.
After Mixon’s second touchdown, an 18-yard jaunt with 8:32 to go in the first half, gave PCA a 27-0 lead, officials went to a running clock and Wright pulled most of his starters.
PCA still added two scores before halftime, including a wild play to cap the first half.
With about 20 seconds to play, the Eagles faced a fourth down at the Greenville 21 and called on the field goal team. Evan Rogers, who was 6-for-7 on extra points in the game, lined up for the kick but the snap was low. Cole Smith picked it up and scrambled around for a moment before taking off.
He beat the rush around the end and went all the way to the end zone for the touchdown.
“It was a low snap and I couldn’t get it on the tee. A guy was coming for me, so I just picked it up and ran,” said Smith, who also had an interception in the second half. “I didn’t know if I was past the line of scrimmage to be able to throw it or not.”
Greenville St. Joe 34, St. Aloysius 7
It’s not unusual for rivalry games to be remembered by a single, signature play.
In the long-standing rivalry between Greenville St. Joseph and St. Aloysius, the 2004 game will go down as a lopsided 34-7 victory by St. Joseph. But sophomore wingback Travis Webster put his stamp on this game with a weaving, spinning, criss-crossing 52-yard run to open the second half.
Webster’s scamper set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Jae McIntosh to put St. Joseph ahead 14-7. St. Aloysius never challenged again.
“Coach fussed at us at halftime for not running the plays right,” said Webster, who finished with 103 yards rushing on 8 carries. “We knew we couldn’t let them beat us again, after they’d beaten us the last two years.”
On St. Joe’s first play of the second half at their own 43-yard line, quarterback Malcolm Davis pitched behind Webster on a play designed to sweep the right side. Webster calmly picked up the ball and broke to the left and down the sideline. Near the 40-yard line he spun away from a couple of tackles and returned to the middle of the field. Webster had one more cut and wiggle near the 35 to put the end zone in sight, but was brought down at the 5-yard line.
“Depending on which side you’re on, I was thinking look at all the bad tackles,” St. Aloysius coach Jim Taylor said. “But they played well. They had two or three running backs who we contained in the first half, but we couldn’t contain in the second half. But we weren’t in as good of shape as I thought we would be. After three plays in the second half, we were completely exhausted.”
After a scoreless first quarter, St. Al moved 53 yards in four plays, including a 21-yard screen pass from Daniel Halinski to Rob Jones and a 25-yard touchdown run by Jones. Jones, a senior, rushed for 99 yards on 21 carries.
St. Joe tied the game in the closing seconds of the half, on a 1-yard sneak by backup freshman quarterback Judd Kendall. The score was set up by another Webster run on a broken play, picking up a botched handoff and running for 30 yards.
Following St. Joe’s tiebreaking touchdown, the Irish backed up St. Al to their 5-yard line. On fourth-and-28, Jones ran for 10 yards, but the ball went over on downs. St. Joe scored in two plays on a Webster run.
“We messed up there,” Taylor said. “I looked at the chains, but didn’t notice the downs. And nobody stopped me. I’m usually the one who catches mistakes like that, but I didn’t this time.”