Patriots, Greenville Academy both looking for victories tonight

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 7, 2000

Sports Editor

After an 0-2 start the Pike Liberal Arts School Patriots are still looking for a win in the year 2000. Tonight’s game against Greenville Academy could be just what the doctor ordered.

Like the Patriots, the Tornados are 0-2, losing big to South Montgomery County Academy in the first game of the season and last week to Sparta Academy. Pike losses have come at the hands of No. 9 Mobile Christian and No. 10 Fort Dale.

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If head coach DeWight Ward’s team has a chance to gain some much needed early season confidence, this appears the game in which to do it. For the first time this year PLAS will be the favored team.

"We feel like we have a good chance to win this football game," said Ward. "But Greenville Academy is going to be hungry just like us and they are going to be playing at home."

The game between Pike and GA was originally scheduled to be played on Friday night. Ward said the Tornados wanted the game to be played tonight, simply because two other city schools, (Fort Dale and Greenville High), would also be playing at home on Friday.

"They wanted it moved to Thursday because it was their home opener and they wanted to try and get a good crowd up for the game," said Ward.

Ward said he expects to get a "good fight" from Greenville Academy.

"They come out and play real aggressive football on both offense and defense," he said. "They run the ball straight at you and are a hard-nosed, gritty football team. But once they get you thinking about the run, they’ll come back with a play-action pass, so that’s something we’ll have to watch."

There’s a slight chance for rain tonight and Ward said that could have a significant effect on the outcome.

"When it’s raining the ball has a tendency to get loose from someone," he said. "It’ll also be hard for us to pass the ball, so we might have to stick it out with our running game."

The Patriots took Monday off and had only Tuesday and Wednesday to work on their game plan for the Tornados.

"Mostly we just wanted to try and get everyone back healthy after that game with Mobile Christian," said Ward.

Ward said starting quarterback Layton Sanders will likely miss tonight’s game. Sanders suffered a bruised hip last week in the first quarter. Sophomore Drew Kilpatrick took over for Sanders in the game and will get the start tonight against GA.

"We’re not going to change much on offense," said Ward. "Obviously, we’re going to have to cut it back a little since Drew is not as familiar with the system as Layton."

Junior tight end Jarod Waldrop suffered a sprained ankle in the first game against Fort Dale and will also not be available against Greenville Academy.

"Jarod’s not recovering like we hoped he would," said Ward.