Eagles try to regroup following tough loss

Published 11:25 am Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Maybe, when Porters Chapel coach Wade Patrick reviewed film Sunday of Friday’s 39-12 loss to visiting Sylva-Bay, he found a positive to take away the bitter taste of a homecoming loss.

There was certainly little tangible evidence of positivity in the immediate aftermath.

Quarterback Zac Morgan was harassed into a 4-for-11 performance with two interceptions, one of which stymied a promising drive in Sylva-Bay territory. The other was a pick-six that flung salt into the wound in the second half.

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PCA coach Wade Patrick defended his quarterback, who found precious little time in the pocket to let plays develop downfield.

“We’ve got to step up and make plays around him,” Patrick said. “It’s not totally on him. I tell him and all the other quarterbacks that you get too much of the credit and too much of the blame. He’s done a good enough job, but he’s had some tough luck on some stuff that looks like it falls on his lap, but it’s not necessarily his fault.

“As a young guy, I don’t want him to have that pressure that it’s his fault. We’ve got to make some plays around him to ease that load on him. He’s still learning and we’re going to keep working with him. He’s going to be fine.”

Defensively, PCA defended the run well, but struggled in coverage.

Twice, Sylva-Bay quarterback Kolton McCarty hit wide open receivers for easy touchdowns. One of those scores came after the Eagles had cut a 13-point deficit in half with a 99-yard punt return touchdown by Peter Harris.

“The killer was we gave up three cheap touchdowns on blown assignments,” Patrick said. “We let the tight end, twice, go scot-free down the middle of the field.”

The Eagles (3-4) need to quickly flush the loss with a trip to Heidelberg looming Friday. While the Sylva-Bay game meant nothing to the Eagles’ postseason hopes, Heidelberg is a District 4-A opponent that PCA must beat to secure a playoff berth.

“In the grand scheme, this is just one loss,” Patrick said. “We’ve got a big conference game and that’s the one that really matters. We just want to get back to work, get a win and take a step closer to the playoffs.”