Eagles facing another test vs. Central Hinds

Published 8:00 am Thursday, October 4, 2018

As the season has taken a southward turn, the Porter’s Chapel Academy Eagles have refined their goals accordingly.

Rather than a playoff berth, a handful of wins would be a successful salvage job. A one game at a time mentality, where just getting the first of those wins is the objective, has taken root.

This week, those goals are being distilled down even further as the Eagles (1-6, 1-2, District 3-AAA) take on their toughest challenge yet when undefeated Central Hinds (6-0, 3-0) comes to town. It’s a matchup of two teams heading in divergent directions, and PCA coach Blake Purvis said the path to victory for his team is to take it one play and one series at a time rather than even looking at it as a single game.

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“It’s been this way for the last two or three weeks. We have to take it one game at a time. I know you get tired of hearing me say it, but it’s the truth,” Purvis said. “We have to line it up and play it for a reason. If you find success one play at a time, play after play, you look up in the third quarter and see where you are.”

Unfortunately for PCA, stringing a game full of those plays together has been a problem. It has had some success, but not consistently enough to win more than a single game this season.

Last week’s 35-0 loss to River Oaks was a perfect example of that trend. The Eagles drove inside the 10-yard line on their opening possession, then had a pass intercepted in the end zone and were never really in the game again.

“We’re still looking for an all three phases effort that shows what we’re capable of. If we put that together, we can be pretty good,” Purvis said.

Central Hinds will be a difficult opponent to do it against. The Cougars employ a powerful running game led by senior running back Prentice Brown, and have scored 35 points or more in each of their last five games.

“We have to stop Prentice Brown,” Purvis said, simply. “He’s got speed, power, vision, and is just a total player in our league. And he’s got 10 players on the field with him that are going to help him on every play. They’re not standing around watching him. They’re getting out there and blocking and doing their jobs to help him.”

PCA has had some flashes of brilliance and balance on offense this season, but has still been held to 10 points or less in four of its seven games. Ironically, Purvis hinted that doing that again might be the key to scoring a monumental upset.

“We’ve got to find some success on the ground and keep them off the field as much as possible,” he said. “We have to find a way to grind out three or four yards at a time. We have to create some different looks and get some favorable matchups other than lining up and running at them.”

All games start at 7 p.m.

Central Hinds at Porter’s Chapel (Radio: 104.5 FM)
St. Aloysius at Cathedral (Radio: 101.3 FM)
Madison Central at WC (Radio: 105.5 FM)
Vicksburg at Cleveland Central (Radio: 107.7 FM)
Franklin County at Port Gibson
Tallulah Academy at Claiborne Academy
Rebul Academy at Franklin Academy
Sharkey-Issaquena at Kemper Academy
Tensas Academy at Briarfield Academy
Madison Parish at Wossman

ONLINE: For live updates on Friday night, visit 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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