PCA fends off upset-minded Union Christian

Published 1:43 am Saturday, August 23, 2014

Porters Chapel running back Hunter Lyons stiff-arms Union Christian’s Corey Mason during Friday’s Red Carpet Bowl. PCA won, 34-26. (Justin Sellers/The Vicksburg Post)

Porters Chapel running back Hunter Lyons stiff-arms Union Christian’s Corey Mason during Friday’s Red Carpet Bowl. PCA won, 34-26. (Justin Sellers/The Vicksburg Post)

In a game littered with flags, injuries and cramping — all played in 100-plus degree heat — Porters Chapel Academy had one more big play in it than Union Christian.

The Eagles’ offense proved potent enough Friday, and an impressive punt and kickoff return game helped them down the Lions 34-26 in the opening game of the 2014 Red Carpet Bowl.

Overcoming injuries and cramping proved to be a thorn in the Eagles’ side throughout the night.

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“I thought under the circumstances we did well,” PCA coach Wayne Lynch said. “We had a lot of guys cramping up, a lot of guys got injured.”

Senior tailback Hunter Lyons suffered the most serious of the injuries, dislocating his shoulder. Lynch said he’s optimistic about a quick return for Lyons.

Despite losing a starting back, quarterback Zac Morgan’s long passing proved the difference. The senior finished the night 8-of-14 for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Josh Daffron, a Vicksburg High transfer, caught three passes for 88 yards and a TD.

Taylor Rushing adding a 49-yard reception and sophomore Javontae Frye caught a 21-yard toss for a touchdown in the opening moments of the second quarter.

Lynch said the passing game was the difference and is something to look forward to as PCA goes through the season.

“ (We’re) super excited about the talent our receivers showed tonight, coming back to get the football and fighting for the football in the air,” he said. “The quarterback did a great job finding the open guys. The offensive line blocked well … and we ran the ball well.”

The teams traded touchdowns until PCA finally got control of the game in the second half.

Union Christian cashed in on a muffed punt, but Frye returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown to give PCA a 14-6 lead.

Another flurry followed late in the second quarter, as the Eagles scored to take a 27-12 lead with 58 seconds to go and Union Christian got into the end zone on the final play of the half. A two-point conversion cut it to 27-20.

On the first play of the second half, PCA recovered a fumble on the Union Christian 22 and scored on the next play. Daffron’s extra point pushed its lead to 34-20.

The Lions returned the subsequent kick for a touchdown. A failed two-point attempt kept the score at 34-26 with 11:16 left in the third quarter.

That proved to be the final points of the night, as the teams exchanged possessions and increasing bouts of cramping.

“I’m super proud of my team We showed a lot of fight in us. We brought home our first ever Red Carpet Bowl trophy,” Lynch said.

SIA 54, Kemper 30

Jake Martin threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as Sharkey-Issaquena Academy opened the defense of its MAIS eight-man championship with a win over Kemper Academy.

Cooper Anthony also had a touchdown for SIA, which won its 15th consecutive game. Weston Joiner had three sacks.