Brutal schedule continues for PCS

By CAMAL PETRO,

Believe it or not, Presbyterian Christian and coach Joey Hawkins planned the final 2-point conversion play at the end of the Parklane Academy game last Friday in the first quarter.

He didn’t know if his team would be down by one after a scoring a touchdown and before the point-after-attempt with no time left on the clock, but he knew if he was in that situation the Bobcats were going for the win.

After battling back to cut the Parklane lead to 41-40 pending the extra point or 2-point play, Hawkins sent his offense back onto the field to try and win the game. The Pioneers made the stop to defeat PCS, but Hawkins still believes it was the right decision. He didn’t want to go to overtime against Parklane’s powerful rushing offense.

“(Parklane), by design, it takes everything in the world to stop them for 10 yards,” he said of the possibility of overtime. “It was the right thing to do, there was no doubt. I told the kids the first quarter that the way the game was going, I said, ‘We’re going for two.’ I started telling all of our offensive players, ‘Look, figure out what you like. If we get in that situation, we’re going for two.’"

There was some silver lining in the loss for the Bobcats, though.

“We played harder for 48 minutes than we’ve played all year,” Hawkins said. “I thought we fought for 48 minutes better than we have all year. I thought our defense played harder. There were so many positives coming out of the painful experience of losing a heartbreaker like that, but there were lots of positives.”

The road doesn’t get any easier for PCS (5-3) this week either. The Bobcats will host Jackson Academy (6-1) Friday, and it’s a completely different offense than the power, two-tight offense they saw last week against Parklane. The Raiders have a spread offense, so PCS won’t see a power running game, but instead, the Bobcats’ defense will be stretched to the maximum.

Jackson Academy began the season 5-0 with wins over Washington School, Lamar School, St. Joseph Catholic, Northeast Lauderdale and Hartfield Academy, but it saw its first setback in a 37-7 loss to Jackson Prep. JA got back on track with a huge 30-7 win over Madison-Ridgeland Academy last week, though.

“They spread it and move it around,” Hawkins said. “They have a good quarterback who can throw it on the money, and he can run. They don’t have a powerful running back or anything like that, but they do have some quality receivers. They have one sophomore who’s really going to be special. The quarterback can make any throw. It’s a totally different offense. I mean, I’m talking about a totally different. It’s just amazing the different type of teams you face each week.”

The JA offense is averaging 27 points per game, while opponents are scoring 13 points a game. The outlier, of course, is the 37 points Jackson Prep scored, so if that game isn’t counted to its average, then opponents are only scoring 9.5 points.

“JA’s defense is playing really well,” Hawkins said. “They play a 4-3 and you have to earn every yard. Give them credit.”