PCA reeling, but still alive

Published 10:36 am Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Porters Chapel senior senior quarterback Zac Morgan looks for someone to pass to against Christian Home Educators Fellowship Friday night at Eagles Field. (Justin Sellers/The Vicksburg Post)

Porters Chapel senior senior quarterback Zac Morgan looks for someone to pass to against Christian Home Educators Fellowship Friday night at Eagles Field. (Justin Sellers/The Vicksburg Post)

The good news for Porters Chapel Academy is that there’s still a chance to make the playoffs.

The bad news is it’s a slim one, and the underlying problems that have pushed the Eagles’ season to the brink don’t seem to be going away.

PCA blew a fourth-quarter lead for the third time this season in a 22-21 loss Friday to Christian Home Educators’ Fellowship ­— better known as CHEF — and suffered its fifth consecutive loss.

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PCA rushed for 194 yards in the game and led for most of the second half, but sloppy tackling and mistakes in crucial spots proved costly.

The Eagles (1-5) allowed CHEF to drive 68 yards in nine plays for the go-ahead score midway through the fourth quarter. They allowed Patriots quarterback Arek Moslander to scramble for 23 yards on fourth-and-4 to keep the drive alive, and also gave up a third-down conversion earlier in the possession.

PCA’s last possession ended with an interception in the red zone. It also had another pass picked off in the end zone in the third quarter and committed a total of four turnovers in the game.

PCA quarterback Zac Morgan, who threw for 147 yards and two touchdowns against CHEF, said the Eagles’ performance wasn’t all bad — mostly just the ending.

“We always find positive things out of it. We’ve just got to figure out a way to play for 48 minutes instead of 47,” Morgan said.

PCA’s losing streak has dimmed, but amazingly not eliminated, its playoff hopes.

Sixteen of the 21 teams in Class A will make the playoffs. Ten of those will qualify by finishing first or second in their district, and the other six as wild cards via the MAIS power point system.

PCA, which lost both of the district games on its schedule, can’t earn an automatic berth. It is, however, still alive for a wild card.

As the standings sit, PCA is tied with Riverdale with a 5.000 power point average. That’s seventh among likely wild card teams. Tunica Academy currently holds the last spot with a 6.500 average.

PCA has two chances to improve its standing, however. It plays at Class AA power Riverfield (6-0) on Friday night, and hosts Benton Academy (3-2) next week.

Under the MAIS power points formula, teams get strength of schedule bonuses for playing opponents in a higher classification and with more wins. That means PCA will benefit just by playing Riverfield and Benton — and would get a huge boost by winning one or both games.

PCA’s loss to CHEF, which is not an MAIS member, and its season finale against Park Place do not count toward the power point rankings. Park Place is playing an independent schedule this season and is not considered an MAIS member under the formula.

PCA also lost a chance at another win when Tallulah Academy dropped down to the eight-man division before the season.

Although it’s struggled to finish games, Morgan was optimistic PCA could close out the season on a high note and perhaps find a way to make the math work in its favor.

“We’ve just got to keep practicing hard, keep focused and stay up,” Morgan said. “Stay positive and have faith in one another.”

On the radio

Friday, 7 p.m., 104.5 FM

Porters Chapel at Riverfield

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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