PCA hopes to avoid letdown

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 24, 2004

[9/24/04]The setup is a classic recipe for disaster.

Take one team that’s doing well and throw it up against a team that’s underachieved a little. Mix in a big win the week before and a big game the following week. Add a dash of injuries, and you have the dreaded “sandwich game.”

The Porters Chapel Eagles are just hoping this one doesn’t give them a bad case of indigestion.

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PCA faces struggling Rebul tonight at 7:30 in a District 4-A matchup. The teams have gone in opposite directions this season PCA is 4-1, while Rebul is 1-4 but the ingredients for an upset are there.

PCA is coming off a big win over Tensas last week and has an even bigger district game against Sharkey-Issaquena next week that should determine one of 4-A’s two playoff berths. Overlooking Rebul would be easy, and it’s the mission of PCA’s coaching staff not to let it happen, head coach Randy Wright said.

“I’m hearing Rebul’s improving every game,” Wright said. “We know they’ve got some good senior leadership, and we’re taking this game as serious as any we’ve had all year long.”

The Eagles are also smarting from the loss of linebacker Gerald Mims to a broken hand. Mims, who is second on the team with 57 tackles, suffered the injury in last week’s 27-20 win over Tensas.

Worse, PCA will be without the services of two linemen. Sidney Meachum and Brett Cusptid were suspended for the game for disciplinary reasons, Wright said. They will be back for the game against SIA, but their absence leaves PCA dangerously thin up front.

“It’s going to hurt us a lot, because we’re only going to have five linemen available. And two of those, Blake Purvis and Joe Carr, were running backs when the season started,” Wright said.

Rebul is also dealing with a slew of injuries that has contributed to its slow start. The Raiders have just 15 players on the roster including five ninth-graders, who are limited to two quarters each in varsity games.

The low numbers magnify every bump and bruise, coach Brad Armstrong said.

“Some of our best players are nicked up because they have to play both ways all the time,” Armstrong said. “We’re only as good as our injury report at the time.”

The Raiders have some talent. Running back Cody Sullivan and quarterback Adam Kitchen provide a solid foundation for the offense, and double as the team’s top linebackers.

Rebul has also been in most of its games. It lost to Union by four points in the season-opener, despite losing Sullivan to an injury. Last week against Kemper, the Raiders turned the ball over eight times and had two long touchdown runs negated by penalties, yet still lost only 22-7.

Still, Armstrong said the Raiders would have to sneak up on PCA this week.

“That’s what we’re going to try to do. That’s our game plan every week,” he said with a laugh. “What I tell my kids is nobody pays attention to Rebul Academy. That’s been our battle cry.”