Busby cleared to play for undefeated Porters Chapel|[10/14/05]

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

As if Porters Chapel Academy needed any more help this season, it’s on the way.

Michael Busby, who played quarterback, defensive back and punter for last year’s district championship team, will make his season debut tonight when the Eagles venture to Jackson to face Veritas (0-7) at Smith-Wills Stadium.

Busby had elbow surgery in May and was initially expected to miss the entire football season. His recovery has progressed well enough, though, that he will be able to see limited action this season.

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&#8221I went to the doctor on Monday and he said everything looks OK. He said patients usually start playing football four or five months out“ of surgery, Busby said. &#8221The only problem is if I fall on it. But I’ll have a brace to help with that.“

Busby will play only safety and punter, not quarterback, coach Randy Wright said. If Busby does play on offense this season, it will be at wide receiver.

Hayden Hales, who replaced Busby at quarterback, has led the Eagles to a 6-0 record. Hales has completed 13 of 26 passes for 406 yards and nine touchdowns this season, with one interception.

Busby’s real contribution on defense is expected to come in the playoffs, not this week. Veritas has lost 10 straight games dating to last season, and has won just three of its last 23 games. The Lions have allowed 40 or more points in six of their seven losses this season.

That’s bad news for them, considering PCA is doing the exact opposite. The Eagles have scored at least 30 points in every game they’ve played. The defense has surrendered 200 yards and three points for the season.

The biggest thrill of this week’s game seems to be what the Eagles will be playing on, not who they’re facing.

The game will be played on the artificial turf at Smith-Wills. It’s the first time any of Porters Chapel’s players have played a football game on fake grass, and they said it will be an interesting experience.

&#8221That’ll be fun. It’s something none of us have done in football,“ Busby said. &#8221We played baseball over there. It’s pretty much the only time I’ve been over there. It was pretty nice for baseball.“

While they’re not likely to need his services to beat Veritas, getting Busby back will help the Eagles’ drive for a state title. Busby intercepted three passes at safety last season and will further solidify an already dominant defense.

PCA’s main rival for a North State championship figures to be last year’s runner-up, Lee, Ark. The Cougars are a pass-happy bunch that shredded PCA’s secondary in a first-round playoff game last season.

&#8221Down the road, we’re going to face some teams that run four- or five-wide, and they’re not going to be able to throw the deep ball,“ PCA linebacker Chris Mixon said. &#8221Michael is a real good safety, and he’s not going to let a big play happen on defense.“