Colonels fall to Bobcats, host Starkville Academy Friday
By James Beasley
Fortunately the scoreboard wasn’t working during Copiah Academy’s football game last Friday night in Gallman – which meant fans were spared the pain of seeing the final score: Presbyterian Christian School – 44, Copiah Academy – 12. Speaking of pain, the Colonels had several starters out with injuries and lost two more key players during the game. Mason Boone (knee) and Ty Quick (concussion) didn’t dress out. CA also lost Dillon Holloway and Tristan Patino to knee injuries Friday night. The extent of their injuries was unknown at press time.
Copiah failed to pick up a first down after receiving the opening kickoff – even though Justin Edwards caught a 7-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Drew. Doug Strait’s punt rolled dead at the 15-yard line, and the Bobcats lost 10 more yards after fumbling the ball on first down. Facing fourth-and-11, Presbyterian Christian’s Troy Waites faked a punt and raced 18 yards for a first down, setting the tone for the evening.
From that point, the Bobcats ripped off huge chunks of yardage, including quarterback Daniel Patterson’s 22-yard pass to Tyler Young. Running back Fate Eiland capped off the drive with a 4-yard TD run, and Jonathan Woods added the PAT to give PCS a 7-0 lead.
On CA’s ensuing possession, Drew connected with Luke Peavey for a 13-yard pass completion, but it was short of a first down due to a quarterback sack that happened earlier. Following a Copiah punt, the Bobcats began at their own 45 and marched 55 yards in 10 plays, with Patterson scoring on a 6-yard scamper. Woods kicked the PAT, and PCS led 14-0 after the first period.
Following the kickoff, a 15-yard pass completion from Drew to Peavey gave the Colonels a first down, and a leaping catch by Bryce Berry picked up 16 more yards. The drive also included a pair of receptions by Dillon Martin, but Copiah was eventually forced to punt.
On the Bobcats’ ensuing possession, a 65-yard touchdown run by Eiland was nullified by a holding penalty. Two plays later, Hunter Norton raced 34 yards to the CA 25, setting up Lee Sigrest’s 4-yard TD burst that gave the Bobcats a 21-0 lead. Three plays later, PCS scored again on Wilson Benton’s interception and 40-yard return for a touchdown.
Following the kickoff, Drew passed 25 yards to Martin, ran 11 yards for a first down, and then connected with Berry for a 7-yard gain. Moments later, he threw into the end zone for Berry, who fought off a Bobcats defender for the 24-yard TD reception. The PAT was no good, and PCS led 28-6 with just under 3 minutes left in the half.
A 43-yard TD pass was nullified by a Bobcats penalty, but they overcame the setback to score in the waning seconds of the half on a 10-yard pass from Patterson to Stephen Jones. Woods added the PAT, and PCS led 35-6 at intermission. Norton returned the second half kickoff 85 yards for the Bobcats’ final touchdown of the night.
Meanwhile, Copiah responded in the third quarter with a touchdown of its own. Following the Bobcats’ final TD, Peavey fielded the kickoff and fumbled as he was being tackled. Teammate Abraham Handal scooped up the ball and advanced it to midfield. PCS committed a personal foul on the play, and CA had great field position at the PCS 42-yard line.
A 4-yard pass completion to Will Smith, and another sensational catch by Bryce Berry on fourth down moved the ball all the way to the Bobcats’ 9. Two plays later, Berry caught a 4-yard TD pass from Drew. The two-point conversion was no good.
On the ensuing series, Sigrest galloped 64 yards from his own 34. Berry knocked him out of bounds at the two, saving a touchdown. Three plays later, Grant Anderson rescued the Colonels when he fell on a PCS fumble at the three. However, Robert Upton tackled the Colonel quarterback in the end zone for a safety and a 44-12 lead. The Bobcats controlled the ball the entire fourth quarter and were on the verge of scoring again when time ran out.
“We have some fantastic running backs and a great offensive line,” Presbyterian Christian coach Joey Hawkins said afterwards. “And our defense was better. Copiah played hard tonight. They gave it all they had.”
PCS (5-1) whose only loss was to Jackson Academy earlier this season, will travel to Flowood this Friday night to face Jackson Prep. Meanwhile, the Colonels (0-6) will host Starkville Academy in an important district matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM Friday in Gallman.