Eagles stopped short by Rebels

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 10, 2009

Porters Chapel converted two fourth downs on a last-ditch drive Friday night.

It couldn’t get a third.

Colby Rushing was stopped as he scrambled on a fourth-and-6 play with 1:34 to play, and Tri-County held on to beat PCA 13-7.

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The loss drops PCA to 3-5 but coach Bill Fleming likes how his team is rounding into form. The Eagles, who had been outscored 126-22 in one ugly three-game stretch last month, played a tough Tri-County (7-1) squad on near-even terms.

“If we keep improving, we’ll be all right,” Fleming said. “I tell ya, the two big things were we give up a big play at the beginning and then we had a fumble at the one foot line. If not for those two plays, we’re up 14-6.”

The Eagles also had another fumble kill their first drive of the second half and committed some key penalties. Three offsides flags and one roughing the holder helped Tri-County turn a missed field goal into a touchdown and a 13-0 lead.

Still, the Eagles had a chance after Lane Williams missed a 39-yard field goal that could’ve put the Rebels up 16-7 with 5:53 to play. Instead, PCA took over at its own 20.

Rushing converted a fourth-and-5 with an 11-yard scramble. Four plays later, on fourth-and-9, he hit Kreuz Federick on a 15-yard screen pass.

Rushing then missed his next two passes and a motion penalty put PCA in a third-and-15 situation. Jay Wiley got nine yards on a reverse. On fourth down from the Tri-County 46, Rushing was flushed from the pocket and tackled five yards short of the first down with 1:34 to play. The Rebels were then able to run out the clock.

“They (PCA) played well. We saw that they had potential on film and they showed it tonight,” said Tri-County coach Joe Goolsby.

Rushing finished 9-of-17 for 149 yards and one touchdown, a 40-yard score to Wiley with 41 seconds left in the first half. He also had 44 yards rushing on 16 carries.

Tri-County, which finished with 274 total yards to PCA’s 258, got 175 rushing yards from speedy tailback Kyle Walker. Walker scored on an 80-yard run on Tri-County’s first play from scrimmage. Things were much tougher after that.

“They started blitzing their middle linebacker. I think it was No. 3 (John Michael Harris). He did a real good job of reading our lead play. We couldn’t run it and that took us out of our comfort zone,” Walker said.

After stopping Tri-County on downs at the PCA 42, the Eagles drove to the Rebel 6 in 13 plays. Rushing took an option and had an opening for a possible score but was hit and lost the ball. Williams recovered on the one-foot line to stop the drive.

Tri-County then drove 99 yards in 16 plays. Two offsides flags aided the march, along with runs of 22 and 15 yards by Walker. The Rebels reached the 10 and after two incompletions were going to settle for a 26-yard field goal by Williams but it sailed wide.

Unfortunately for PCA, a defender ran into the holder and the roughing foul gave Tri-County an automatic first down. Bryce Randall scored two plays later for a 13-0 lead. The PAT was blocked.

PCA came back with the 40-yard bomb to Wiley, who lined up at flanker and outran the two defenders on a fly route. Federick added the kick to make it 13-7.

Montana McDaniel led PCA with 46 yards rushing and also caught three passes for 36 yards. Reed Gordon had three catches for 36 yards.


Contact Jeff Byrd at jbyrd@vicksburgpost.com