Bulldogs get their bite back

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 16, 2001

Sports Writer

BRUNDIDGE – Pike County captured its first win of the season Friday night by pounding the Lafayette Bulldogs 41-13 in a regional matchup.

PCHS rushed for 303 yards on the night, with 225 of those yards coming in the second half. Maintaining a narrow 20-13 lead at the half Coach Wayne Grant shifted to a powerful rushing attack in the third quarter. Grant’s Bulldogs came out of the locker room poised and ready to play as they put together a 12-play drive that consumed over six minutes of the clock.

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"We decided that we were just gonna run it right at them in the second half, and ram it down their throat," Grant said.

Even though the PCHS Bulldogs were successful passing the ball in the first half Coach Grant felt safer using his running game with only a seven point lead.

"We just felt like too many things could happen on the pass. We could throw an interception or get sacked so we stuck with the run."

The decision to utilize the running game worked to perfection. Pike County’s tailback Craig Flowers gained 143 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns. And quarterback Chris Nickson used 11 carries to pick up 91 yards and a couple of touchdowns behind a dominating offensive line.

"We pretty much controlled the line all night on offense and defense," Grant said.

The Bulldog defense only allowed Lafayette 66 yards in the second half and 148 yards the entire game.

Pike County took an early 6-0 lead as Chris Nickson used one of several quarterback sneaks to reach the endzone from eight yards out. The Bulldogs started the drive at the LHS 19 yard line after a fumbled pass reception by the Lafayette offense.

To start the second quarter, Lafayette’s back-up

quarterback James Burns scampered 17 yards on a bootleg around right end to give LHS a 7-6 lead. That would be the last lead for the visiting Bulldogs for the remainder of the night.

Before the half PCHS scored on a 1-yard plunge by Craig Flowers and a 15-yard strike from Nickson to Nick Walker in the left corner of the endzone. The Lafayette Bulldogs did manage to pull within seven points of Pike County on a 90-yard interception return with a minute left in the first half.

The defensive unit for the Bulldogs played aggressively all night. Leading the defense for Pike County was Nick Walker with five tackles, Dontrell Flowers four tackles, Elijah Daniel four tackles and 1one interception, and Thurston Lee with two tackles and a fumble recovery. Chris Nickson and Calvin Marshall both intercepted passes from Lafayette quarterback Kareen Harrington. Craig Flowers recorded one sack for a loss of seven yards and Terrell Gray had two sacks, each for a loss of 12 yards.

Pike County continued to add to its lead in the third quarter, going ahead 28-13, after Nickson took a quarterback keeper up the middle for a 20-yard touchdown run. Terrell Gray added the two-point conversion.

Several of the Bulldogs scoring drives were set up by good special teams play. Joey Spikner gave the Lafayette cover team trouble as he returned punts for 23 and 33 yards behind an outstanding blocking effort by the PCHS return team.

PCHS ended its scoring rampage on a 28-yard option keeper by second-string quarterback Elijah Daniel. The play was set up after Marshall’s interception at the Lafayette 30-yard line.

Grant said that he believes that this win will give his players the confidence that they need to get into a winning rhythm.

Pike County, now 1-2 on the season, will host Dadeville next week at Bulldog Stadium. Dadeville defeated Calhoun 50-6 Friday night.