Eagles try to cap undefeated regular season

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2008

Porters Chapel coach Randy Wright has two goals for tonight’s regular season. Get a win to finish off an undefeated season, and rest as many starters as possible.

The first shouldn’t be too difficult. Franklin has struggled mightily this season and enters the game with a dismal 2-7 record.

The second could prove problematic, since he doesn’t have a lot of backups at his disposal. Because of injuries, PCA may have as many as six players on a roster of 24 not even dressed for the game.

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“I’ve got three for sure that are out, three that are a game time decision, and about five that we’re going to get out of the game as soon as possible,” Wright said. “I would like to get all of the starters out. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to do that, simply because we don’t have a lot of players.”

Regardless of the outcome, PCA has earned the right to host a first-round playoff game — as well as a second-round game if it advances — next week against either Tallulah Academy or Wayne Academy. That, along with the apparent mismatch, made for a relaxed mood among the Eagles this week.

While not trying to overlook Franklin, Wright admitted it was nice to play a struggling Class A team rather than a stronger one.

“I would definitely rather be playing Franklin than a big powerhouse AA school. I’m definitely glad we’re playing somebody where we can get guys an opportunity to rest,” Wright said.

PCA quarterback Clayton Holmes, who has nearly 2,500 combined rushing, passing and return yards and is one of the players Wright said he’d like to sit down early, also said it felt strange this week.

“It’s pretty much a rest week,” Holmes said. “We’re not really overlooking them, but it is nice to play them.”

Wright tried to warn his team about being too lackadaisical with a fiery speech before practice earlier this week. He reminded his players that Franklin has made the Eagles their homecoming and senior night game. The two schools have also developed a rivalry over the years, largely stemming from several meetings in the baseball playoffs.

Most importantly, Wright tried to remind the Eagles what was at stake for them. PCA can cap just the second undefeated regular season in school history, as well as head into the playoffs with momentum and the top ranking in Class A with one more victory.

“The fact we have a chance to close out an undefeated regular season is a big point of pride for us,” Wright said. “I believe we’ll be able to keep them focused.”


Contact Ernest Bowker at ebowker@vicksburgpost.com.