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Pee Dee Academy High School


Defense improving, offense rolling for Pee Dee

By Justin Driggers
Consulting Editor

Mullins – For most of last season and the beginning of this one, Pee Dee Academy usually went man-to-man on defense, head coach Jonathan King said.
“You usually either give up big plays or make big plays for yourself,” King added. “It’s high risk and high reward.”
After giving up a number of big plays to Robert E. Lee Academy and Dorchester Academy early on, King and the Eagles have gone more zone as of late and the results have been encouraging.
PDA is 3-1 overall and 1-0 in region play after defeating The King’s Academy 42-12 in its last game on Sept. 28. The Eagles allowed 72 points in the first two games and just 22 in the two games since.
“Our weakness was giving up the big play,” King said. “So, we felt like be needed to be more solid on the back end and get more eyes in the backfield. 
“We want to kind of be able to bend but not break on defense, and we’ve seen improvement in that area.”
Senior LB Dylan Hotaling leads the team with 34 tackles followed by junior LB Danny Barker with 30. Ryan Forney is right behind them with 29, including 11 that came against Colleton Prep.
Junior Kyle Zeman has 1 ½ sacks and sophomore defensive back Caleb Oakley has four interceptions while Ryan Brewer has one. 
The Eagles also got a boost in Week 2 with the return of senior quarterback Jake Lane. In three games he’s thrown for 979 yards 11 touchdowns including four against the Lions last game. 
PDA has scored at least 38 points in all of his starts. He has five wideouts with 100 yards receiving or more, led by Conan Gasque. The junior has 33 catches for 397 yards and nine scores. Jason Norton is next with 17 catches for 296 yards and two scores. He had 188 yards receiving and a TD against King’s.
“It’s the same (offensive) system we’ve run for three straight years now,” King said. “We’ve got a bunch of receivers who are good in space and can catch the ball and we’ve got a quarterback that can get the ball to them.
“And all of that is possible because we’ve got an offensive line that has played well and improved throughout the season.”
The line includes Barker, senior center Harrison Watts, freshmen Zachary Martin and Dylan Carter and senior Michael Martin. 


© 2017 High School Sports Report

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