Porter’s Chapel tries to stay undefeated, build momentum vs. Tensas Academy
Published 1:50 pm Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Week 7 of Porter’s Chapel Academy’s football season is not the biggest or most attractive game on the schedule. It’s not a district game that will bring it closer to a championship, and it likely won’t even help their MAIS power points ranking much.
It is, however, a chance to check a milestone off the list.
Beating winless Tensas Academy (0-6) on Friday will ensure PCA (6-0) of a winning record for only the second time in 15 years. It would also give the Eagles seven wins for the first time since 2008.
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Head coach Blake Purvis downplayed that achievement, however. At this point, the Eagles are starting to have much bigger dreams than finishing above .500 and getting to seven wins is simply a bridge to eight, nine, 10 or more.
“I think we’ve seen it all year long,” Purvis said. “They’ve believed in what they could do and that’s shown by the way they’ve prepared, even before they played a game. The intensity was there, the morale was up, so I think they’ve believed in each other since the beginning. Hopefully all we’re doing now is building momentum.”
While Tensas has yet to win and is coming off a 56-6 thrashing at the hands of Briarfield Academy, Purvis said the Chiefs do pose some match-up problems.
“They’ve got a couple of athletes, offensively. They’ve got good size up front. Size can give us a problem at any point, just because we don’t have a lot of size,” he said. “We’ve got to go in there and execute our scheme and do what we’ve been doing the last six weeks.”
A big part of the Eagles’ undefeated run through the first half of the season has been their running game. Junior running back Jase Jung has rushed for 784 yards and 13 touchdowns, while senior Ty Mack has 496 yards and five TDs. Mack also has 192 yards and four touchdowns receiving.
Purvis said the two backs have differing styles that complement each other well.
“The complement comes in with their styles of running. Not to take anything away from either one of them — Jase is a physical runner and Ty sees the field well, too — they’re different. Ty is looking to go through people and Jase is making more cuts. So I think it’s a good 1-2 punch,” Purvis said. “That doesn’t mean Ty can’t make cuts and Jase can’t go through people. I think they both have both aspects of it, but it’s a little different look depending on which one you hand the ball to.”
Whichever back is not carrying the ball, Purvis added, is usually leading the other through a hole opened up by linemen Conley Johnston, Hunter Simms, Jackson Blackmon and Thomas Azlin.
“About 90 percent of their carries, one is leading for the other,” Purvis said. “We’ve been in a lot of two-back sets and being able to balance that, and be just as productive going both ways, it keeps the defense from overloading to one side and then getting those guys through at the point of attack is benefiting each of them very well.”
And the Eagles as well.
PCA’s 2008 team started 13-0 before losing in the MAIS Class 1A semifinals, and then the program took a long walk in the football wilderness. A 6-5 finish in 2021 was its best in the past 15 years. From 2018-20 the Eagles won seven games total.
The 2023 squad can start to bury that past by winning Friday against Tensas, and then turn an eye toward a playoff push and a district championship.
Purvis, though, was trying not to get too far ahead of himself.
“It’s the most important game right now because it’s the next one,” he said, breaking out an old coaching cliché. “We’ve got to go in and execute it and try to clean up some things we didn’t do as well last week, and then come out of it healthy and ready to go for the next one after that.”
FRIDAY’S AREA GAMES
All games start at 7 p.m.
Tensas Academy at Porter’s Chapel (Radio: 104.5 FM)
St. Aloysius at Central Hinds (Radio: 101.3 FM)
Yazoo City at Vicksburg High (Radio: 107.7 FM)
Warren Central at Madison Central (Radio: 105.5 FM)
Crystal Springs at Port Gibson
Tallulah Academy at Prairie View Academy
Briarfield at Sharkey-Issaquena Academy
Ferriday at Madison Parish