Second-ranked Monroe Academy visits PLAS

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 28, 2001

Sports Editor

Following last week’s 21-14 loss to Lee-Scott Academy, the Pike Liberal Arts School Patriots took the defeat, according to head coach Mack Williams, how a team is supposed to.

"They took it hard," the Patriots’ first-year coach said. "And that’s what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to shed a tear and it’s supposed to bother you. If it doesn’t, you shouldn’t be playing."

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Back-to-back close losses to both Lee-Scott and the previous week to Meadowview Christian (24-13), dropped the Patriots to a 1-4 record thus far in 2001.

"We played hard against Lee-Scott, but penalties hurt us," said Williams. "We gave up a big play on defense, but offensively, we only had one turnover, which was an improvement."

Prior to the trip to Opelika on last Friday, Williams said Troy State head coach Larry Blakeney offered the Patriots some words of encouragement at a team meal held at Brittany’s Restaurant in Troy.

"He told the players like it is," said Williams. "I’m glad he was able to take time to talk to them, knowing how busy he is, and words can’t express how much I appreciated it."

PLAS returns home tonight to face yet another challenge in No. 2 Monroe Academy. MA is 5-0 on the year, following last week’s win over Fort Dale, and will run their offense out of a traditional high school offensive scheme; the Wing-T formation.

"Lee-Scott ran basically the same thing and we did a good job against it, but they hurt us between the tackles," said Williams.

"They’ve (Monroe Academy) got a lot of speed," he added. "All of their backs have good speed and their quarterback looks very athletic. They like to run off-tackle and sometime they’ll go into an I-formation."

With Monroe Academy coming into Patriots’ Stadium unbeaten and No. 2 in the state, Williams knows his team won’t be feeling any pressure.

"We’ve had a hard week of work and I’m proud of our kids," he said. "We’re focused and ready to play."

To maybe even ready to pull off an upset?

"They’ve (MA) got Mobile Christian (No. 3 in the AISA) next week and that’s a region game for them," Williams said. "Maybe we can catch them looking ahead."

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.