Porter’s Chapel learning how to handle newfound success

Published 2:00 pm Thursday, September 7, 2023

Porter’s Chapel Academy has handled the challenge of winning a big game on the road. They’ve won another against a quality opponent.

The next challenge is handling success.

Riding the wave of a 4-0 start capped by last week’s double-overtime victory vs. Riverdale, PCA will try to remain undefeated when it goes on the road Friday to play Humphreys Academy (1-2). As good as the first month of the season has been, coach Blake Purvis cautioned, it doesn’t mean much if the next two are not.

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“Stay humble is the challenge,” Purvis said. “It’s still a long season. There’s still a lot of games left in front of us. We can’t start looking ahead at this point. We’ve got to stay humble and take it one week at a time.”

The mindset and chemistry of this year’s team makes Purvis confident that will happen.

Seven of the 13 varsity players are returning starters, and several have been in the lineup for three or four years. The experience has not only helped them through difficult game situations, it’s created a bond that is pushing them to work harder during the week.

“It’s been a lot of fun. Aside from the games, practices all summer long and each week the way these guys are coming out and preparing and working and getting after it,” Purvis said. “In years past when we’ve had a lack of depth, practice has not been great because you don’t have guys to push each other. But these guys are pushing each other. They’re stepping in to try to make each other better at practice. All around it’s been a better atmosphere and created a more fun environment.”

As for this week, the Eagles will take on a Humphreys Academy team that lost its last two games but offers a different look than what they’ve seen so far.

“They’re very good at their scheme, and it’s a different type scheme than what we’ve been seeing. It’s not the greatest match-up for us,” Purvis said. “They’re a power run scheme. With one guy on our defense that weighs over 200 pounds, that creates some issues for us. But I think we’re playing a lot bigger than what we are. Delta, Prentiss and Riverdale were all way bigger than us.”

PCA certainly has been punching above its weight. It has allowed a total of 34 points in its last three games, and this season has 10 takeaways and three defensive touchdowns. Its defense has been the key to its 4-0 start — as has an understanding of how quickly that success can evaporate.

“These guys on this team, they’re different. They’ve seen a lot in their three and four years,” Purvis said. “They’ve been on the bottom side, they’ve been in the middle and right now they’re on the top side. So I think they can understand what can happen quick and in a hurry if you don’t mentally prepare and lock in week after week.”

All games start at 7 p.m.
Porter’s Chapel at Humphreys Academy (Radio: 104.5 FM)
Germantown at Warren Central (Radio: 105.5 FM)
St. Aloysius at Tri-County (Radio: 101.3 FM)
Vicksburg at Natchez (Radio: 107.7 FM)
Union Christian at Tallulah Academy
Sharkey-Issaquena Academy at Kemper Academy
Bowling Green at Central Hinds
Port Gibson at Wilkinson County
Madison Parish at Northeast

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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