Eagles get the job done in win over Ben’s Ford

Published 11:15 am Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Porters Chapel accomplished a lot of things Friday.

In a 40-28 win over Ben’s Ford, the Eagles rallied from a 10-point deficit and got a six-touchdown performance from running back Peter Harris.

The win pushed PCA (3-3, 2-1 District 4-A) into a tie with Ben’s Ford (4-2, 2-1) for second in the district behind Newton Academy (4-2, 3-0). The Eagles finish their non-district slate this Friday at home against Sylva-Bay.

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The Eagles did all of that without completing a single pass.

PCA’s offensive line turned back the clock and owned the line of scrimmage, as the team’s backs combined for 242 rushing yards. Harris had 176 of those. He scored four rushing touchdowns, added another on a punt return and a sixth on a kickoff return.

PCA’s much-maligned defense — which gave up 40 points in its previous game against Benton Academy, as well as a 72-yard TD run to Ben’s Ford’s Kaylin Stewart on the game’s first play from scrimmage — came up big with key turnovers in the fourth quarter despite missing starters Michael Croisdale and Rich Murphy. It set up Harris’ go-ahead 1-yard touchdown with an interception by Jamee Hill, then put the cap on a great effort as P.J. Lassiter snatched quarterback Destin Pittman’s final desperation heave.

“I thought we came out a little flat in the second half,” PCA coach Wade Patrick said. “That’s something we’ve got to continue to work on. We’ve been preaching, do it our way. If you do it your way, you’re not going to be successful. If you do it the way we tell you to, good things are going to happen. The plays are there to be made if you’ll do it right. All 11 have got to do their jobs. I told them they can be a dangerous group if they put it all together.”

PCA’s Sam Kirk had a huge game, especially in the first half. On Ben’s Ford’s second series, he read a reverse perfectly and hauled down Bryan Johnson for a 9-yard loss. He dropped Ben’s Ford’s punter for a loss when he bobbled the snap on fourth down to set up Harris’ second touchdown.

As for Harris, his game represented a career-high in rushing yards (176) and touchdowns (six). More importantly, whenever the Eagles needed a score, he answered the call.

Ben’s Ford took advantage of a slow PCA start in the second half, taking the lead on Pittman’s 1-yard keeper in the third and increasing its lead to 10, at 28-18 with 8:35 left after Stewart scored on a 1-yard run.

Harris took the kickoff at the 25-yard line, hit the sideline, jab-stepped one defender away, pivoted to dodge another and crossed in between the hashes. He broke a couple of tackles before diving into the end zone to cut the lead to 28-22.

“When Pete ran that huge kickoff back, there was a spark there and it lit into a fire,” PCA offensive lineman Josh Masterson said. “That was a spark that burned in everybody and everybody wanted it a lot more.”