Riverfield knocks out PCA, 27-12,

Published 12:08 am Saturday, November 3, 2012

RAYVILLE, La. — Porters Chapel had no answer to a strong second half by Riverfield.

Patrick Pelley scored three second-half touchdowns on runs of 2, 25 and 64 yards to lead last year’s MAIS Class A finalists to a 27-12 comeback win over PCA at Joe Meeks Field Friday night.

Riverfield (9-3) advances to face the Newton-Clairborne winner next week at a site to be determined. The loss ends PCA’s season at 4-7.

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For the Eagles, a big part of their second-half problems came right after the first play. Leading 12-6, the Eagles had the ball to start the second half, but on a short gain by standout senior running back Peter Harris, fullback Logan Pickering fell awkwardly after a block and went facedown to the turf. He was helped off the field with an apparent knee injury and did not return.

The Eagles’ gameplan went out with him, said PCA quarterback Jonah Masterson.

“The biggest thing in the second half was the injury to Logan Pickering,” Masterson said. “It took our game plan right out the window and made it difficult for us on offense.”

Porters Chapel had used a I-formation running game with Harris to good success in the first half to grab and maintain the 6-point lead. Harris had 110 rushing yards in the first half with Pickering leading the way as a lead blocker. Harris had just 17 on his first eight carries of the second half after Pickering went out.

PCA coach Wade Patrick agreed with Masterson that Pickering’s absence was huge.

“That hurt us,” Patrick said. “He doesn’t get the credit because he’s a blocker, but when he went down, we needed the next man to step up.”

PCA went three-and-out and Riverfield took over at its own 21. The Raiders went 79 yards in eight plays. A 33-yard pass from Tristan Oswald to Brennan Morris put the ball at the PCA 2. Pelley then scored the first of his three second half touchdowns. Cody Hixon’’s PAT kick put Riverfield ahead 13-12 with 6:53 left in the third quarter.

PCA tried to go back to the pass on its next series, but Masterson was sacked twice, the latter causing a fumble that Riverfield recovered at the PCA 25. Pelley scored on a sweep for a 20-12 lead.

Still down just one score, PCA lined up to go for it on fourth-and-one from the Raider 46 but a motion penalty backed them up five yards. They went for it again, but Harris was stopped for a 1-yard gain and Riverfield took over at mid-field.

Following an exchange of punts, Pelley put the game away with a 64-yard run with 10:53 left for a 27-12 lead.

Riverfield coach Rob Newsom said his team came alive in the second half and outrushed PCA 190-46.

“I couldn’t tell if it was anything I said, but we did step it up in the second half,” Newsom said. “We had a sack and a fumble and scored off the next play and then the big run in the fourth quarter put it away.”

Pelley had 122 rushing yards to lead Riverfield and Oswald was 5-of-12 passing for 86 yards. Harris had 139 rushing yards while Masterson was 6-of-13 for 113 yards.

Riverfield grabbed a 6-0 lead on Morris’ 85-yard interception and return of Masterson pass three minutes deep into the game. PCA answered with a 67-yard drive highlighted by a 30-yard run by Masterson. He later scored from the 2 to tie it at 6 with 7:23 left in the first quarter.

After a punt, PCA went 61 yards in 10 plays capped by Masterson’s 11-yard TD pass to Ted Brisco with 2:22 left in the quarter. A bad snap foiled the kick to leave the score at 12-6.

PCA had an eight-minute, 80-yard drive from its own five in the second quarter, but it stalled out at the Raider 15.