PCA closes out disappointing season Friday night at Park Place

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, October 17, 2018

This has been a long, difficult and disappointing football season, to say the least, for Porter’s Chapel Academy.

The Eagles entered with high hopes after finishing 5-5 in 2017. There were some holes to fill with 12 departed seniors, but the team’s floor didn’t feel much worse than last year.

Then the lack of experience and depth started to show. Turnovers and bad breaks piled up, and so did the losses. Two months after they began, the Eagles are limping to the finish line with a 1-8 record and one last chance to salvage something from the wreckage in Friday’s finale at Park Place Christian (3-6, 1-3 District 3-AAA).

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“It’s another opportunity to go out and get it right and play that complete game we’ve been looking for in all phases, and prove that when we do do things right and cut the mistakes out what we are capable of,” PCA coach Blake Purvis said. “The effort has been phenomenal. We just need to get the fundamentals and the techniques to match our effort.”

PCA has had some highlights this season, even in the midst of a six-game losing streak in which it has been outscored 264-53. The passing game has stepped up to average 130 yards per game the past three weeks, after struggling to crack 100 the first half of the season.

And, although, the Eagles are giving up an average of 44 points per game during their losing streak, a lot of that has been the result of turnovers more than the defense getting shredded. They’ve given up seven defensive and special teams touchdowns in the past six games.

PCA committed six turnovers last week in a 34-6 loss to Glenbrook. One of those was a fumble that was returned for a touchdown, and another was an interception inside the Glenbrook 10-yard line. Glenbrook also recovered a blocked punt in the end zone, and recovered an onsides kick that led to another touchdown.

The turnovers and special teams breakdowns have allowed opponents to blow games open, Purvis said. That, in turn, has led to a feeling that the season could have gone much differently with a few plays here and there.

“Looking back on it, it’s going to be some frustration. I think we had some missed opportunities. We just made too many mistakes along the way,” Purvis said. “I think it was week to week. We never were able to put it all together at one time. We improved on some things and then took a step back somewhere else.”

Now the Eagles have one last chance to find some success and finish on a high note, against a Park Place team that has had its own share of adversity. The Crusaders are on their third quarterback after the first two were injured, and have lost five of their last six games.

Park Place still has a chance to sneak into the MAIS Class AAA playoffs, however — it is ranked 19th in the power points rankings, about a half-point out of the 16th and final spot — and remains a solid opponent, Purvis said.

“We’ve got to look at the opponent they are and not their body of work,” Purvis said. “They’ve had some injuries, but they’re still a good football team that’s been hit at the wrong time with some things.”

All games start at 7 p.m.

Clinton at Warren Central (Radio: 105.5 FM)
Canton at Vicksburg (Radio: 107.7 FM/1490 AM)
Porter’s Chapel at Park Place (Radio: 104.5 FM)
Riverfield at St. Aloysius (Radio: 101.3 FM)
Central Hinds at Washington School
Wilkinson Christian at Tallulah Academy
Briarfield Academy at Prairie View
Rebul Academy at Claiborne Academy
Port Gibson at Wilkinson County
Sterlington at Madison Parish

ONLINE: For live scoring 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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