PCA claims second straight District 4-A title|[10/22/05]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 22, 2005

Porters Chapel finally got the test it had been looking for, and passed with flying colors.

Kenny Simms ran for 137 yards and a touchdown, Hayden Hales ran for two touchdowns, and the Eagles clinched their second straight District 4-A championship Friday night by beating Tri-County 28-7.

The win was a history-maker for PCA (8-0, 4-0 District 4-A). It clinched back-to-back postseason berths for the first time in school history, as well as the first back-to-back district titles. It’s also the first time since 1981-82 that PCA has beaten Tri-County in consecutive years, and the 28 points the Eagles put on the board was their highest total in 19 meetings with the Rebels.

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&#8220Just the fact that we got put into this district with Tri-County the last two years, we knew we were going to have an uphill battle because of their tradition,” PCA coach Randy Wright said. &#8220We feel real, real proud to have won two district championships being in a district with Tri-County, because they have a great program.”

Tri-County (5-4, 3-1) became the first team to score a touchdown on PCA this season, on the first play of the third quarter.

The Rebels had driven down the field in the last two minutes of the first half, only to be stopped at the PCA 1-yard line as time expired. On the second-half kickoff, Tri-County’s Benji Campbell ripped the ball away from PCA’s Cole Smith and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown.

PCA has now allowed 10 points this season, and no offensive touchdowns.

While special teams put the Rebels on the scoreboard, they also put them into a deep hole in the first half.

Tri-County went three-and-out on the game’s opening series and was forced to punt. Joseph Hurt bobbled the low snap and was swarmed by the rush, then fumbled the ball. Blake Purvis scooped it up and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 PCA lead.

&#8220We worked on the punt rush all week because we felt like we had a chance to block a punt. It was a muffed snap, and it was laying there. There was nothing in front of me but end zone,” said Purvis, who also had a sack in the fourth quarter.

In the second quarter, Simms returned a punt 16 yards to the Tri-County 38, and a personal foul penalty on the end of the play gave PCA the ball at the 23-yard line. Hales scored on an option keeper four plays later to make it 14-0 with 9:38 to play.

Later in the period, Campbell shanked a punt that gave PCA the ball at the Rebels’ 39-yard line with 2 minutes remaining. Again the Eagles took advantage of the short field, marching in for a quick score. Hales crossed the goal line on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 1:01 to play in the half, putting his team up 21-0.

Simms added an 87-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter – after Tri-County had failed to take advantage of two fumbles in PCA territory – to make it 28-7.