Porter’s Chapel beats Riverdale in double overtime to improve to 4-0

Published 1:00 am Saturday, September 2, 2023

Since this summer, Porter’s Chapel Academy football coach Blake Purvis said, he felt like this year’s team was special.

On Friday night, they rewarded that faith and showed what they might be capable of.

John Wyatt Massey threw two touchdown passes to Thomas Azlin in overtime, and the Eagles put together a goal line stand to preserve an intense 26-18 victory over Riverdale Academy in double overtime.

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The win against one of the best teams in MAIS Class 1A pushed PCA’s record to 4-0 for the first time since 2008.

“I think that validates a lot. This group’s different. I believe that they believe they can play with anybody they step on the field with, and that’s a big part of the game,” Purvis said. “But actually doing it and playing with the best, going toe-to-toe and fighting through adversity and being down a touchdown in overtime and coming back … that’s what you do.”
Massey was only 7-of-11 passing for 83 yards, but threw three touchdown passes and saved his best for last.

Regulation ended with the score tied at 12, and on the first play of overtime Massey threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Azlin. In the second extra period, the two hooked up for a 21-yard TD on fourth down.

Massey also ran in the two-point conversion following the second touchdown to make it 26-18.

The two touchdowns were Azlin’s only two catches of the game, although he had a team-high 13 tackles and three sacks on defense.

“I knew going into overtime that we’ve got a weapon down there with Thomas. He is something else,” Purvis said. “We hit it in the first overtime. They made a change on it in the second overtime. We come out on fourth down, John Wyatt notices that they moved their guy off of Thomas and he goes to the single coverage. Big-time players make big-time plays.”

While the offense kept the pressure on Riverdale (3-1), it was the defense that saved the day and secured the victory.

In the second overtime, the Eagles forced Riverdale into a fourth-and-goal from the 9-yard line. Quarterback Ryder Huddleston tried to throw a slant pass to Kaidyn Williams at the goal line, but PCA defensive back Gavin Pugh knocked it down to end the game.

“I just cut in front of him. I saw the ball in the air and cut in front of him and slapped him down,” said Pugh, who had four tackles. “It felt amazing, especially to put us 4-0 right now.”

Pugh’s play was the capper on an outstanding defensive effort for PCA. They sacked Riverdale’s quarterbacks six times and allowed a modest 251 total yards.

Kyle Guillory finished with 115 total yards and two touchdowns for Riverdale. Huddleston threw a 55-yard TD pass to Guillory and ran for a 39-yard score.

For PCA, Jase Jung rushed 10 times for 90 yards and a touchdown. Ty Mack had 88 total yards — 47 rushing and 41 receiving — and caught a 19-yard touchdown pass in the first half. Hunter Simms had 11 tackles on defense.

“I feel proud of my team,” said Johnston, who totaled 11 tackles and one fumble recovery. “I feel like we slouched a little bit in our first two practices and I didn’t know if we were going to have the energy this week, but we brought it out.”

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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