No. 3 Monroe Academy hosts Patriots

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 29, 2000

Sports Editor

Different week. Same situation.

Pike Liberal Arts School (1-4) will travel to face No. 3 Monroe Academy (5-0) tonight.

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Facing ranked, big 3A schools is something that has become a habit for the Patriots this season. PLAS was pounded by No. 8 Lee-Scott last week, 35-7.

No. 10 Fort Dale and once-ranked Mobile Christian also have lopsided victories over Coach DeWight Ward’s team.

Out of 15 schools in the Alabama Independent School Association 3A ranks, Pike Lib is one of – if not the – smallest.

"We just don’t have the numbers," said Ward. "Our kids get out there and are facing players that are a lot bigger then us. They start pushing on us in the third and fourth quarter and it wears us down. Plus,

we’ve got a lot of kids that play both sides of the ball and never come off the field."

Ward said despite the record, he sees many positives on this football team.

"The young players are getting better," he said. "I’m especially pleased with the offensive line, who’ve come along real well together."

Ward said he’s also pleased with the play of his seniors.

"They’re out there battling like the rest of the kids," he said. "Right now is the time when we need senior leadership to step up."

Last week Lee-Scott got most of their 35 points on big plays given up by the Patriots’ defense. The Pike offense struggled to find some consistency throughout the entire game.

"Lee-Scott just has a very good football team," Ward said. "On offense we had too many fumbles and interceptions. Also, I’ve got to do a better job of play selection."

Ward said one of the problems with the Patriots’ passing game last week was because the Generals were playing man-to-man on defense and were getting heavy pressure on PLAS quarterback Layton Sanders.

"Almost all of their (Lee-Scott’s) defensive linemen were over 6-3 and rushing hard," he said. "Layton didn’t have time to throw the ball and when you’re facing man-to-man coverage, you have to be more accurate on your passes. It’s a whole lot different then when your going against zone coverage."