Eagles face tough test at Benton

Published 11:25 am Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fresh off a 46-0 rout of Park Place, Porters Chapel Academy steps out of District 4-A action with a road trip to Benton Academy Friday.

Benton (3-2) has played well against a tough first-half schedule. The Raiders lost to Deer Creek 28-12 last week. Deer Creek also owns a 22-7 win over PCA from week two.

PCA coach Wade Patrick said the Raiders will be a hard test.

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“We have to prepare for their physicality,” Patrick said. “They play old-school football. They play hard. No. 4 and 5 fly to the football and like to control things. They like to float between a four and five front but it doesn’t matter what they’re in, because of how hard they play.”

Benton’s best win this season came against perennial playoff contender Winona Christian, 3-0, two weeks ago. The Raiders’ other loss was to defending Class A champ Tri-County (48-6)

The Eagles regained some confidence with the blowout win over Park Place last week at Smith-Wills Stadium in Jackson.

“It a was a good confidence booster, but now, we need to transfer that attitude to the better teams we play,” Patrick said.

Benton will represent the start of a string of tough foes in the second half of PCA’s schedule. The Eagles still have four district games left and two non-district foes in Manchester Academy and Sylva Bay.

A good note for the Eagles is the arrival of two new members, P.J. Lassiter and Ted Brisco, to the team. The pair come from the PCA basketball team where they led the Eagles to a second straight MAIS state tournament last February.

PCA defensive coordinator Bill Fleming said Lassiter has made an immediate impact.

“He starts for us at corner and he has really taken care of his side,” Fleming said.

Fleming said Lassiter is just one of a handful of new faces who are getting reps on defense.

Lassister had an interception against Newton Acadey and caught aTD pass against Park Place.

“We’ve got more kids going just one way now,” Fleming said. “We got them in there this past week and a lot them had not been playing much.”

Brisco plays more on offense at tight end, but did get five plays at defensive end against Park Place.

The Eagles are led on offense by tailback Peter Harris with 384 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

Quarterback Zac Morgan will make his fourth start since replacing injured starter Jonah Masterson, who is still out with a knee injury. The only other injury of note is linebacker Rich Murphy, who tweaked his knee against Park Place.