Presbyterian Christian continues to literally run past teams with running back Marquis Crosby at the helm.
Crosby, according to MaxPreps, leads the nation with 1,227 rushing yards through five games and has racked up 14 touchdowns in that span. According to PCS coach Derek White, Crosby primarily carries the offense that his team needs to become more efficient in the passing game to avoid being a one-dimensional offense.
“Our offense goes through him to start a rep,” White said. “I’ve told everybody that we want to be able to run the football and that we will lean on this offensive line. We’re not anywhere close to how we can be running the football yet. We still have a way to go, but we have to start to stretch the ball vertically if we keep running the football. The more the box gets loaded, the better we have to be with throwing the football.”
The Bobcats, who have yet to be beaten in Mississippi, are riding a four-game win streak as they face a winless Columbia Academy (0-5). The Cougars have faced tough competition to start the year, with their first five opponents combining for a 13-7 record.
On offense, Columbia Academy has averaged 19 points per game, but in the last three weeks, it has averaged 25 per game after switching quarterbacks.
Columbia Academy runs a spread-RPO offense and has totaled 113 passing attempts for 520 yards for three touchdowns and eight interceptions. Taking over the quarterback position has been Kris Ginn, who has thrown for 370 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions while rushing for 257 yards and seven touchdowns.
“They have a really good offense,” White said. “They really do challenge you and throw a lot of (run-pass option plays) and run the quarterback very well.”
Columbia Academy’s top two receivers are Robert Johnson and Trevor Courtney, who have combined for 28 catches, 379 yards and three touchdowns. The Cougars turn to Preston Sauls, who has ran for 330 yards and five touchdowns at running back.
“They are slinging it all over the place,” White said. “They have a great system they do. We haven’t played very well against the passing game the last two weeks. We have to shore up that on the defensive side of the ball. They throw it very well.”
Defensively, Columbia Academy has struggled and has given up an average of 33 points per game.
“They are a 4-3 defense,” White said. “They are big up front on the defensive line. They have linebackers that come downhill. They play a lot of man to man coverage and try to stop the run. We have to take some advantages on man to man coverage with play-action passes, and so our offense gets better with the vertical passing game.”
For White, PCS cannot afford to overlook Columbia Academy because of the team’s record, and the Cougars are filled with underrated talent.
“A lot of (their 0-5 start) is due to COVID, injuries and playing some really good competition. They have played some tough games,” White said. “It’s just part of football when you fight through it.
“We are going to worry about us to prepare our football team.”