PCA looks for first win at Hillcrest

Published 7:55 am Friday, August 31, 2018

What’s the best medicine for a team riding a two-game losing streak and in desperate need of a victory?
How about facing a team on a 15-game losing streak.

Porter’s Chapel Academy (0-2, 0-1 District 3-AAA) will go on the road Friday night to take on Hillcrest Christian (0-2, 0-0), a team that has not won a game in nearly two years. Hillcrest has been outscored 89-0 in its first two games this season, and should provide PCA with an opportunity for its first win.

“You always hope for a week to get on track,” PCA coach Blake Purvis said. “But you still, at the end of the day, have to take care of the football and execute. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, if you don’t take care of your business then anybody can beat you.”

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Purvis’ hesitation to overlook Hillcrest stems from some of his own team’s missteps this season. PCA has committed eight turnovers and scored 22 points in two games. It had five turnovers in a 46-14 loss to Riverfield Academy last week.

The Eagles did move the ball well against Riverfield — Tyler Washington had 166 rushing yards and two touchdowns — but the turnovers are clearly a major concern.

“You can only chalk it up to inexperience for so long. We have to improve or stop putting the ball in those guys’ hands, and not putting the ball in their hands is not an option,” Purvis said. “We’re trying to get (quarterback Luke Yocum) some more reps throwing the ball to help him become more comfortable. With the ball carriers, we’re going to do a lot of ball security drills.”

Despite the turnovers, Purvis said he did see some improvement with the offense from Week 1 to Week 2. Washington emerged as a threat at running back, and the passing game was efficient if not overly productive. Yocum, making his second varsity start, completed 8 of 17 passes for 39 yards.

“Offensively, I feel much better. We did some things and mixed it up with the run and the pass. Even with the turnovers, that’s as good as I’ve felt about our passing game in three years,” Purvis said.

Purvis added that he was very pleased with Washington’s performance. The freshman running back scored twice and showed some big-play ability with a long touchdown run.

The Eagles are still waiting for last year’s leading rusher, Carter White, to return from an offseason injury. Getting production from a young player like Washington will only add to the number of weapons they’ll eventually have available.

“Tyler showed a lot, with his vision and ability to find the hole,” Purvis said. “You always feel good when you find depth at any position. But as a running team like we are, you feel good to find a third guy that’s as good as the first two. Having different options to try and go to helps you when you’re struggling on offense.”

All games start at 7 p.m.

Warren Central at Vicksburg (WC radio: 105.5 FM; VHS radio: 1490 Am/107.7 FM)
St. Aloysius at Central Hinds (Radio: 101.3 FM)
Porter’s Chapel at Hillcrest (Radio: 104.5 FM)
Natchez at Port Gibson
Clinton at Brandon
Desoto School at Sharkey-Issaquena
Briarfield at Wilkinson Christian
Tallulah Academy at Prairie View
Madison Parish at Bossier

For live updates and game coverage on Friday night, follow us at facebook.com/thevicksburgpost, twitter.com/vixpostsports, and vicksburgpost.com

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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