Patriots pound GA 40-7 for first victory

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 8, 2000

Special to the MESSENGER

GREENVILLE – Bill Hughes scored on runs of 47 and 10 yards to lead Pike Liberal Arts to a 40-7 win over the Greenville Academy Tornados here Thursday night.

The Patriots notched their first win of the season, despite having two apparent first-half touchdowns erased. Pike Lib bounced back after Greenville Academy jumped to a 7-0 lead, and carried a 10-7 advantage to the locker room at halftime on the strength of Hughes’ 10-yard run and a safety.

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The win was a welcome relief after a rocky 0-2 start for the Patriots, said Coach Dwight Ward.

"There’s no question we’ve had a rough start," said Ward. "We even got off to a rough start tonight.

"We had our backup quarterback in and tried to keep it as basic as possible and the kids did a good job blocking and running."

Brent Hill helped keep the Tornados quiet during the first half. The junior cornerback picked off two errant Greenville Academy passes to stymie drives.

Will Williams and Scott Kirby added touchdown runs of three and 35 yards, respectively to sandwich Hughes’ 47-yard TD romp in a highlight-filled third quarter.

Ward said he was pleased with the ground effort from Hughes and Kirby.

"For them (Hughes and Kirby) to be able to run like they did, our kids had to really block tonight," he said.

Brandon Hill added a two-yard score during the rain-drenched fourth quarter.

Linebackers Joey Stallings and Chuck Olsen led Pike Lib’s run-stopping defense that didn’t give the Tornados a second close-up look at the end zone after the first-quarter GA scoring drive.

Patriots reserves got most of the action in that final stanza, which Ward said pleased him.

"We like to give all our kids an opportunity to play," said Ward. "I don’t like to run the score up, but it gave our younger kids a chance to get in the ball game.

"And we better enjoy that because it might not happen again, with our schedule."