Porters Chapel faces undefeated Prentiss Christian

Published 9:04 am Thursday, September 29, 2016

Porters Chapel Academy’s football team is taking the season one week at a time because coach Blake Purvis says the next game is always the most important. With an 0-6 record, there might not be any other way to approach it.

This week the Eagles are hitting the road to take on undefeated Prentiss Christian (6-0).

“It’s another opportunity for us. They’re a good football team, but it’s an opportunity for our kids to go out and compete — to fight through adversity,” Purvis said.

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Taking on a team that is in first place in its district and one of the best in Class AA is a tall order, but Purvis isn’t giving up.

“To me the next game is always the most important because it is the next one,” Purvis said. “That’s what I tell the guys every week. It doesn’t matter who we play.”

He said the Eagles, who have been ravaged by injuries all season, are not going to play it safe by trying to save players for two upcoming district games.

“We’re all hands on deck. Whoever is available, we’ve got to use. It’s the same approach every game,” Purvis said. “We take it one week at a time. We try to worry about this week and put the best plan together and give ourselves the best chance to be as successful as we can each week.”

Friday night’s game will be only the second away game of the season for the Eagles, although three of their last four are on the road. Purvis liked starting off the season with a homestand because he said players sometimes find it easier to prepare for a game at home. By this point in the season, week seven, he feels they should be prepared no matter where the game is.

“I liked the road games on the back end of the schedule,” Purvis said.

He said the Saints are a well-disciplined team with a great offense consisting of senior quarterback Blake Greenlee’s passing ability and a solid running game.

“That’s what they’re built off of, is their run game, but they do have the ability to beat you with the pass and to move the ball,” Purvis said.

Junior quarterback Josh Arias said the Eagles been working on some new offensive plays to spark a struggling offense. He feels good about their ability to move the ball early in the game.

PCA has only scored 27 points this season and been shut out three times. It has sustained a number of drives deep into opponents’ territory, however, only to short circuit with penalties or turnovers.

“Usually at the beginning of the game, we have good offensive drives. Driving down the field, we get good momentum,” Arias said. “Once we get some good momentum we can use it.”

All season the Eagles have dealt with injuries by rearranging players to different positions, and this week is no different. As always, they’re rolling with the punches.

“A lot of people are moving around to places they’ve either barely played or maybe they’ve had a little practice at,” Arias said.

Purvis said he’s waiting to hear if some of his players will be cleared to play before his lineup is finalized, but isn’t planning any major changes.

“There’s been another shuffle this week. Not 100 percent sure at this point where ultimately everybody’s going to fall. Still waiting on some doctor’s releases,” Purvis said.

But they haven’t given up.

“We’re going to try the best we can. Whatever the outcome is, we’re going to give it all we’ve got. That’s all we can really do,” Arias said.

Even with all the injuries, Purvis noticed his team has maintained a good attitude through it all and is continuing to exude a competitive spirit.

“They still have a competitive attitude. They want to get out there and play,” he said. “They understand the adversity, but they’re not blaming it, they’re trying to fight through it and keep a competitive attitude and keep moving forward.”


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