First Presbyterian Christian Academy played like a well-oiled machine Friday, toppling David Emanuel Academy 55-18 in a Georgia Independent Schools Association Region 2-AA game at Long Bell Stadium to earn a second-straight playoff berth.
FPCA (2-8 overall, 1-2 in the region) will play Windsor Academy in the first round of the playoffs next Friday in Macon.
The Highlanders put forth a dominant running attack against the Eagles. Dylan Stewart, Joshua Armour, Jamison Golson, Khalyn Weekly and Jimmy Ouyang each rushed for more than 100 yards.
It was a rocky start for the home team against DEA, however. Armour returned the opening kickoff 70 yards, but FPCA fumbled away the ball at the Eagles 20.
However, the FPCA defense forced the Eagles to punt, and the kick was high and short. After the Highlanders took over on the Eagles 39, Ouyang ran the ball in for a touchdown.
DEA botched the catch on the ensuing kickoff, and the FPCA offense was quickly back on the field. Shortly after, Armour caught a 10-yard touchdown pass. A successful 2-point conversion attempt later, and FPCA had a 14-0 lead.
On DEA’s next drive, Armour made a TD-saving tackle, and Weekly intercepted a fourth-down pass. Following that, the Highlanders drove to midfield, and Ouyang broke away for a 52-yard touchdown run. Freshman kicker Alexander Pagan made his first of five point-after kicks as FPCA was up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Proving they shouldn’t be taken lightly, the Eagles scored on a long run in the second quarter. However, Armour responded with a 90-yard kick return for a touchdown. Pagan hit another PAT for a 28-6 lead.
The Eagles drove to midfield, but Nasmeek Murphy plowed through the middle of the offensive line and made a huge tackle for loss, forcing a punt. Not long after, Golson scored as the ’Landers went up 35-6.
FPCA recovered another Eagle fumble, and Golson ran in for what appeared to be a touchdown. However, it was called back for a penalty, and Golson was out of the game after taking a hit to the knee. Two plays later, Stewart scored from 50 yards out. By halftime, FPCA was up 42-6.
The Eagles opened the third quarter with a 60-yard TD run. But Armour made his second interception and then had two big runs as he took a few snaps under center. Stewart came back and ran for another 50-yard TD. By the end of the third quarter, FPCA was ahead 49-12.
Weekly added another score in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles notched a 60-yard touchdown run to close out the scoring.
Special teams were huge for FPCA on Friday. Pagan made 5 of 6 point-after attempts, and Brantley McKorkle was credited with three solo tackles on kick returns that killed the Eagles’ chances for big gains.
Penalties did hurt the Highlanders, though. They had two TDs called back due to blocks in the back, were called several times for delay of game and had a few false starts.