PCA’s 4-4 gives foes problems

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 10, 2004

[9/10/04]In the world of competitive poker, a pair of fours will not beat much of anything.

At Porters Chapel, that same pair is beating everyone.

Since moving from a 5-3 defense five down linemen and three linebackers in the first week of the season to a 4-4 defense four linemen, four linebackers the Eagles’ have been unbeatable.

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletter

Receive daily headlines and obituaries

The team has not allowed a point in the last 10 quarters and are coming off back-to-back convincing shutouts over Greenville Christian and CM&I.

“We were trying to find our identity and experiment with a couple defenses,” PCA coach Randy Wright said. “We made the decision before the first game that we would be more effective in the 5-3.”

The team started a preseason scrimmage in the 5-3 and it was effective. But in the first week of the regular season, Wilkinson Christian scored two quick touchdowns, manhandling the Eagles’ defensive line in the process.

Two minutes before halftime, the Eagles shifted to the 4-4.

“Wilkinson came down the field and scored bam, bam, bam,” Wright said. “I talked with the coaches and decided to go to the 4-4. Since we’ve shifted to the 4-4, we have not given up a point.”

Wright will note that the two opponents the Eagles have shut out Greenville Christian and CM&I have been outscored in three games by a combined 146-6.

Wright and the Eagles expect a much tougher challenge tonight when the team hosts Union Academy. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

“They look pretty sound defensively,” Union coach Carl Griffith said. “Offensively, they look like they are hard to defend in certain formations.”

PCA plans to mix more passes into the game plan tonight, the first game the Eagles will play on a dry field. Union will have a more centralized game plan: running back Charles Neal.

The bruising back rushed for 120 yards in a 35-6 loss to Wayne Academy in the opener and gets the bulk of the Saints’ (1-1) carries.

“He’s our workhorse,” Griffith said. “He can also catch the ball out of the backfield.”

Neal had a pair of touchdowns called back against Rebul in a 24-20 victory last Friday night.

“We will get a challenge tonight,” Wright said.