Eagles dust off preparations for Ben’s Ford

Published 11:14 am Friday, September 28, 2012

The last week of August, Porters Chapel was cramming for its District 4-A game against Ben’s Ford like a final exam.

PCA coach Wade Patrick managed to shoehorn a week of preparation into three quick days of practice, before the arrival of Tropical Storm Isaac resulted in the game’s postponement.

This week, in comparison, has been relatively easy. The Eagles (2-3, 1-1 District 4-A) have dusted off their preparations for a much-improved Ben’s Ford (3-1, 2-0) team, which comes to town for the rescheduled game tonight.

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Patrick hopes the extra preparation will help his team get a passing grade and a big victory in a key district contest.

“We didn’t lose anything from preparing that week. The only thing we lost was the game itself,” Patrick said. “Things have changed a little bit, but they (Ben’s Ford) haven’t changed a whole lot. It’s good to already have that preparation for them a couple weeks ago, since you can cut down on the film time and get more field time and prepare them that way for what they’re going to do, offensively and defensively.”

The Eagles have been hit hard for a second straight year by injuries. Quarterback Jonah Masterson is still out with an injured knee. His status for the rest of the season will be decided next week. Middle linebacker Rich Murphy, who had operations on both knees in 2010 and 2011, injured his knee again against Park Place and is out indefinitely.

Sophomore defensive end Michael Croisdale, who is tied for the team lead in sacks, is out with an illness.

While the loss of Masterson is keenly felt with his on-field leadership and knowledge of the offense, Murphy’s loss is an even tougher one to swallow. He was the heart and brain of a much-improved PCA defense.

“You lose one guy and it’s really like you’re losing three, because you’ve got to shuffle guys around,” Patrick said. “You’ve got guys playing positions they’re not used to playing, so that makes it tough. We’re not going to whine and complain. We’ll go to battle with who we’ve got.”

While last week’s 40-0 loss to Benton Academy was disappointing, Patrick felt that his team did more damage to its cause. He hopes that self-inflicted wounds end against Ben’s Ford.

“This game, we did some pretty good things, but the score didn’t show it,” Patrick said. “Plays are there to be made, we’re just not making them right now. If we do, it’s going to be something fun to watch and hopefully, it’ll be this week. We’ve got a test ahead, but we’re going to fight through it.”