Eagles crush Kemper Academy in 8-man debut

Published 1:05 am Saturday, August 21, 2021

Porter’s Chapel Academy might be a quick study at this 8-man football thing.

Willie Rogers caught two touchdown passes, Tyler Washington ran for two TDs, and the Eagles began a new era in their program’s history by crushing Kemper Academy 48-0 Friday in the season opener.

PCA played four 8-man games in 2019 and 2020 while still competing in the MAIS’ 11-man ranks, but this is its first full season playing 8-man.

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“Wins are always good. It doesn’t matter when they come, you always love a win. But it was a good break into a new era. I thought we did very, very well,” PCA coach Blake Purvis said. “We played our entire roster. We showed a lot of depth tonight. We rotated a lot of guys and didn’t see any fall off. We were able to maintain the success on both sides of the ball regardless of the combinations we had in there. That was a very welcome sight to see.”

After a shaky start, PCA scored three touchdowns in the second quarter to blow it open.
Jase Jung’s 83-yard punt return gave the Eagles an 8-0 lead in the first quarter, but they also had two turnovers in the early going.

Then, in the second quarter, Washington scored on a 5-yard run and Rogers caught touchdown passes covering 22 and 69 yards to turn the one-score lead into a 30-0 rout by halftime.

“We kind of settled in and calmed ourself down and started doing what we were capable of doing,” Purvis said. “Three touchdowns in the second quarter got the momentum rolling.”

Rogers finished with three receptions for 100 yards and the two TDs, and on defense had five tackles, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Washington ran for 67 yards on only five carries — most of it came on a 58-yard TD run in the second half — and Jase Riggs completed 6 of 8 passes for 143 yards and two TDs.

Gage Palmer led the defense with 11 tackles and a fumble recovery. Bridger Jung had eight tackles and one sack, and John Wyatt Massey returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown in the second half.

Bryce Rebert finished PCA’s scoring with a 23-yard TD run.

“I thought it was a total team win,” Purvis said. “I was very impressed with our depth, and everybody that played stepping up and doing their job without having a fall off. Everybody, when their number was called, did their job.”