Cougars roll over PCA

Published 12:40 am Saturday, October 7, 2017

Porter’s Chapel Academy’s offense failed to find its footing Friday night against Central Hinds with backup Jake Arias starting at quarterback in place of Tristan Pickering, who suffered an ankle injury in last week’s win over Claiborne Academy.

The Cougars’ offense capitalized on stellar starting field position throughout the game to defeat the Eagles 49-0.

“We ran 25 offensive plays tonight,” PCA coach Blake Purvis said. “We never could get anything going. They stacked the box and shut down the run game. We really didn’t get a good look offensively. They obviously know you are playing with a backup quarterback. They were playing cover zero and blitzing. We didn’t have much time to get throws off.”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Following the loss, PCA (4-4, 1-3 District 3-AAA) faces an uncertain future going forward, with only two regular season games remaining. The Eagles are looking to earn a playoff berth for the first time since 2014, but have a tough road ahead with games at Glenbrook and at home against Park Place Christian remaining.

“We’ve got to go get a win next week and reposition ourselves with a chance Week 10 to get a wild card berth,” Purvis said. “We are still in the hunt for the playoffs and so we’ve got to get healthy, go on the road next week and get a win and position ourselves Week 10 to fight for a spot in the playoffs.”

PCA entered Friday night on a two-game winning streak, but fell behind early as Central Hinds (5-3, 3-1) turned a missed tackle for loss into a big play on its first drive and capitalized on another missed tackle by PCA on the next drive to score a touchdown.

The inability of the offense to move the ball throughout the night led to fatigue on defense as the short-handed Eagles were forced to ask players to play both ways. Arias not only filled in at quarterback, but also played linebacker on defense and led the team with eight tackles.

“We couldn’t move the ball offensively and they were in a short field all night,” Purvis said. “Our defense made some plays, but ultimately they were on the field for 80 percent of the game. I believe Central Hinds started all but maybe two of their drives in our territory on short fields.”

Purvis confirmed after the game that Pickering will be out again next week against Glenbrook, meaning Arias will again have to split time between quarterback and linebacker. PCA plays Park Place in the season finale Oct. 20.

“I thought the couple balls Jake did throw he looked good considering the lack of practice reps throughout the season,” Purvis said. “Hopefully we get another week of practice under his belt, straighten some things out up front and try to perform better next week.”