Hillcrest hands Eagles a loss

Published 1:57 am Saturday, September 10, 2016

In its first three losses, Porters Chapel Academy was able to find plenty of things to still be encouraged about. This one was the kind that led to a lot of hair pulling and butt chewings.

The Eagles committed five turnovers, had a promising drive stopped in its tracks by an ill-timed penalty in the red zone, and saw another close game get out of control in the second half as Hillcrest Christian beat them 38-0 Friday night.

PCA has been outscored 115-6 during its four-game losing streak to start the season, but coach Blake Purvis said this was the first time he’d seen his team truly wilt in the face of adversity.

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“We threw our hands up and laid down and quit. It’s the first time I’ve seen that happen,” Purvis said. “They fought to win the second half last week. Tonight, we had adversity and they folded up. The rest was not much of a football game.”

The turning point for the Eagles came midway through the third quarter. With Hillcrest holding a 16-0 lead, a long PCA drive had gotten it inside the 20-yard line. Then an intentional grounding call backed them up to the 25, and an interception in the end zone was returned to midfield.

Hillcrest quarterback Mayowa Asagunla threw a 50-yard touchdown pass on the next play to put his team ahead 22-0, and the Cougars pulled away from there.

“We were moving the ball on them, even when they knew what we were running. That long drive, we ran one play to both sides and threw one play action pass,” Purvis said. “There is still improvement to be made. We just don’t know how to finish. We have just handled adversity progressively worse each week.”

If there was a bright spot for PCA, it was that the offense finally showed some signs of life. Carter White ran for 81 yards on 23 carries for PCA, and the team had a season-high 115 rushing yards.

“With having to shuffle some guys early, we’re a little behind on who fits where. I think we had our best combination tonight that we’ve had all year,” Purvis said. “Hopefully now we can fine tune some things and make some progress.”

Central Hinds 42, River Oaks 16

Tanner Leggett rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown, and threw three touchdown passes as Central Hinds (4-0) routed River Oaks.

Kile White caught three passes for 132 yards and three touchdowns, and on defense he recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass.

Tallulah Academy 60, Tensas Academy 20

Ryan Hodge rushed for 242 yards and three touchdowns on only 11 carries, and also caught a touchdown pass as Tallulah Academy beat Tensas Academy. Raie Garza added 83 yards and two rushing touchdowns for Tallulah.

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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