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PCA Patriots come close to victory in Bellville barn burner
Wesley Tippins carries for the Patriots.
Wesley Tippins carries for the Patriots.

The Pinewood Christian Academy (PCA) Patriots hosted the Vidalia Indians on Friday, September 1, 2023. The Patriots came up short by only five points to the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Class 3A powerhouse. 

In a heart-stopping showdown that left all of Lowell Coley Field at the edge of their seats, the Patriots faced off against the Indians in a competition that came down to the very last seconds of the game. Despite playing against the odds, the Patriots displayed unwavering determination, fierce aggression, and a never-say-die attitude that reaffirmed all of Bellville and the Georgia Independent Athletic Association (GIAA) that they were a force to be reckoned with. 

Vidalia High School, though favored to win by a significant margin, found themselves caught off guard by the home team’s aggressive approach. The scoreboard remained tight throughout the contest, with both teams exchanging blows and showcasing their offensive prowess. The home team’s aggressive defense, however, was the true highlight of the game. With honorable mentions going to a variety of Patriots–specifically Will Wasson, Greyson Brinkley, Pearce Dutton, and Kaedan Arnold–the Boys in Green kept their opponents on a leash until the very last seconds of the game.

Junior quarterback (QB) Banks Booth recorded 195 passing yards with three touchdowns. Senior running back (RB) Wesley Tippins had 67 yards for 19 carries and one two-point conversion. Senior wide receiver Jake Rogers had eight receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown, and senior wide receiver Walker Todd had four receptions for 83 yards and two touchdowns and one two-point conversion.

The Indians were the first on the scoreboard with a touchdown (TD) and an extra point early. Walker Todd scored first for the Pats with a reception from Booth.

The second quarter saw the same back-and-forth scoring cycle. Todd caught another TD with a 27-yard pass from Booth. Tippins ran in a two-point conversion. The Indians answered with another seven, and the half ended all tied up at 14. 

Vidalia put up seven points in the third. 

In the fourth, Jake Rogers recorded a touchdown, thanks to a pass from Booth. Todd ran in a two-point conversion. The Patriots, up by one point in the fourth, bared down to win the game. Unfortunately, a 40-yard pass to the end zone by Vidalia’s QB found its destination, and the Indians barely survived the Patriots.

Despite the scoreboard reading in favor of the visiting team, it was clear that this game had been a defining moment for the Patriots, proving that they can come off a terrible defeat and still play with determination, respect, honor, and grit. 

Senior Jake Rogers had this to say about the game, “This game was about more than just the score. It was about proving to ourselves and our fans that we can compete with the best. We may not have won, but we left everything on the field with our heads held high. It was time we reminded everyone that we are one of the best teams in the GIAA, and I couldn’t be prouder of my teammates and the way we played on Friday.” 

We are all so proud of ya’ll, too. 

The Patriots will enjoy an off week this week and will be back on the gridiron on September 15 in Macon against First Presbyterian.