The Wicksburg defense contained Providence’s high-powered offense for most of the first half, but couldn’t hold out Wise Gordon and the Eagles in the final 26 minutes.
More importantly, the Panthers couldn’t find much room against the PCS defense.
Gordon amassed 217 all-purpose yards, including 154 rushing, and played a role in all three scores, while the PCS defense recorded a shutout and also got a key play from the special teams to power the Class 3A sixth-ranked Eagles to a 21-0 win over Wicksburg at Providence’s Eagles Nest.
Providence improved to 4-0 on the season and to 2-0 in region play with the Class 3A, Region 2 win, while Wicksburg fell to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the region.
Gordon finished with 154 well-earned rushing yards off 24 carries against a hard-nosed Panther defense, with 144 coming from midway in the second quarter to the rest of the game. He rushed for touchdown runs of 4 and 22 yards and caught a 45-yard pass for another score.
Meanwhile, the Providence defense allowed just seven first downs – and didn’t allow more than one first down on any of Wicksburg’s 12 possessions. The Eagles also gave up only 117 total yards and forced nine Panther punts.
Providence, which came in averaging 44 points a game, found the Panther defense tough early before pulling away from a one-score halftime lead with two second half scores.
Defenses ruled the first half, which ended with Providence up 7-0 on a 4-yard touchdown run by Gordon with 1:49 left in the half.
The Providence defense allowed two first downs and 46 total yards in the half, with a 33-yard Jackson Glover to Clayton Morrison pass and an 18-yard run by Walter Sinclair accounting for the bulk of the Panther offense, which was also hurt by five negative plays of 28 yards in the first two quarters.
The Panther defense was just as good for a quarter and a half, allowing only one first down and 25 total yards on the first four Providence possessions.
The Eagles, though, got untracked on the fifth series, covering 84 yards in 14 plays to score on the first Gordon TD run. PCS converted three third downs in the possession and overcame four penalties totaling 34 yards in the series
Gordon opened the drive with runs of 22 and 12 yards and kept the possession going several plays later with an 18-yard pass reception on a screen play from quarterback Collins McClintock. The play converted a 3 rd -and-16 for the Eagles.
A Gordon 18-yard run to the left side off a pitch from McClintock to the left converted a 3 rd -and-5 and pushed the ball to the Wicksburg 15. Two plays later on 3 rd -and-19 at the 24, McClintock hit a wide open Hayes Lewis in the right flat for 20 yards and a first down.
On the next play, Gordon scored, going off the left of the line for the 4-yard TD run. John Jeter added the point after to make it 7-0.
Gordon earned 65 of Providence’s 102 rushing yards in the first half and McClintock added 41 yards off 3-of-4 passing.
The Providence special teams provided a big play early in third quarter. With Wicksburg punting from its 30, Providence’s Cole Smith came in and partially blocked the punt, which was downed a yard beyond the line of scrimmage at the 31.
After runs of 6 and 5 yards by Gordon and a 2-yard loss by Lewis, Gordon took a handoff to an open field to the left, broke a tackle around the 10 and raced to the left zone. Jeter added the point after kick to boost the PCS lead to 14-0 with 3:10 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles delivered the knockout punch midway in the fourth quarter, overcoming a holding call and a 2 nd -and-24 with a 45-yard touchdown pass. McClintock threw a middle screen to Gordon, who made people miss when going to the right before finding an open lane to the left and racing to the end zone.
Jeter added the point after to make it 21-0 with 6:58 left in the game.