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Something will give in Tensas, PCA game

[9/17/04]For 3 1/2 games, Porters Chapel Academy has run roughshod over its opponents.

The Eagles have posted three straight shutouts and have run their scoreless streak to 14 quarters overall. Since allowing 149 yards in the first half of their opener against Wilkinson County Christian, the Eagles have allowed a total of 192 yards.

Going by the numbers, it all figures to come to a screeching halt tonight.

PCA (3-1) travels to St. Joseph, La., to face a Tensas team that is averaging 40 points per game. The Chiefs are coming off a hard-fought district victory over Briarfield last week, and will provide PCA with a much stiffer challenge than the overmatched foes it has seen the last few weeks.

“We hope not,” PCA coach Randy Wright said when it was suggested his team’s shutout streak would probably end. “We’re going to do everything we can to be prepared on Friday night. We’ve been watching films all week and trying to figure out how to stop them. I don’t know if we can.”

No one has, at least so far.

Tensas started the season with a 70-0 demolition of Plain Dealing and has rolled from there. Quarterback Tyler White has thrown for 537 yards and five touchdowns already, with four of the scores and nearly half of the yards going to speedy receiver Ryan Borsch.

On the ground, three backs have gained at least 140 yards and five different players have rushed for touchdowns. Will Ratcliff leads the team with 171 yards and three scores, but Cody Hill (161 yards, two TDs) and White (144 yards, three TDs) aren’t far behind.

Tensas (3-1) showed big-play ability last season, despite posting a losing record, but has been able to avoid the turnovers and mistakes that plagued it a year ago.

“They’ve been surprising me in some ways, but living up to my expectations in others,” Tensas coach Chris Jacobs said. “They’re playing with a lot of heart.”

Tensas won’t be the only solid offensive unit on the field tonight, though. PCA has also put up some impressive numbers, averaging 52 points in its three wins. Officials have gone to a running clock in the second half of all three games.

The victories have come against less than stellar competition. Greenville Christian, CM&I and Union are a combined 1-8. That has given Jacobs little chance to get a true scouting report on the Eagles.

“Everything they do works, so it’s kind of hard to tell what they want to want to do,” Jacobs said. “Other than that WCCA game, they haven’t been tested.”

Tensas, meanwhile, has had a couple of tests mixed in with a few blowouts. The Chiefs went toe-to-toe with Tri-County before falling 41-27, then hung on for a 21-15 win over Briarfield last week.

PCA won last year’s meeting between the teams, 40-0. This year promises to be a far different outcome, PCA linebacker Gerald Mims said.

“They’ve opened some eyes already, and we know we have a big task ahead this week,” Mims said, adding that the Eagles’ shutout streak was less important than their winning streak. “We’ve got a lot of pride in it. But that’s something you know comes to an end … If we shut them out, we shut them out. We’re just going in there to outscore them and win the football game.”