PCA beats Calhoun Academy, advances to state semifinals
What regular season?
The Palmetto Christian Academy football team lost two consecutive region games in late October and went from a region favorite to the No. 3 seed heading into the playoffs.
But, since the calendar turned to November, the Eagles have returned to championship contender form. This past week, Palmetto Christian traveled to Calhoun Academy and came away with a 54-39 win in the first round of the SCISA 2A playoffs.
Senior quarterback J.T. Waters led a consistent offensive attack, running for 297 yards and throwing for 111 with six total touchdowns (five rushing, one passing).
The Eagles scored two touchdowns in every quarter, and Calhoun Academy discovered that trying to outscore Palmetto Christian doesn’t often work. Running back Ryan Roe added 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“He (J.T.) and Ryan ran like men on a mission,” one Eagles assistant coach said. “It was fun to watch.”
Waters has 2,276 rushing yards so far this season, 1,757 passing yards and 56 total touchdowns. Roe has 1,033 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. The Muscle and Hustle duo mark the first time in school history that Palmetto Christian has had two players rush for at least 1,000 yards and the first time anyone has ever had more than 2,000 rushing yards.
It took resilience to keep the season going. Calhoun took a 33-32 lead late in the third quarter.
In the final 17 seconds of the period, Waters connected with wide receiver Ben German three times before Waters scored one of his five touchdowns to regain the lead in only 12 seconds.
The Eagles tacked on 14 more points in the fourth quarter, while holding Calhoun (6-5) to just six points.
With the win, Palmetto Christian (7-3) advances to the state semifinals at Hilton Head Christian. The other semifinal game is Northwood at Florence Christian.
The Eagles lost 45-36 to Hilton Head Christian (8-2), Oct. 25. Hilton Head outscored Palmetto Christian 32-16 in the second and third quarters. Waters was held to 98 yards on 26 carries, and he threw two interceptions.
Hilton Head is riding an eight-game winning streak after losing its opening two games at Hammond (49-13) and at Bible Baptist (44-27). Palmetto Christian routed Bible Baptist, 62-16, three weeks later.