Courtland comes calling

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 5, 2001

Sports Writer

BRUNDIDGE – When the Pike County Bulldogs face the Courtland Chiefs this Friday night the scenario will be almost identical to last year except for one small detail.

The Chiefs’ coaches and players will be the ones that have to board a bus and travel five hours away from the comfort of their home stadium.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In a game that the Bulldogs eventually lost to Courtland 19-15, Coach Wayne Grant said, "I hope we’ll play better against them this year. We won’t have that long trip and all of the distractions that come with traveling."

Grant said that last year the long voyage took a lot away from his team.

Besides the homefield advantage for Pike County everything else resembles last year’s game versus Courtland. The Chiefs are ranked No. 3 in class 1A, whereas last year they were ranked number one. Last year Pike County was coming off of an 86-0 slaughtering of Barbour County and this year they blasted the Jaguars 47-6. One other similarity is that Courtland had only lost one game coming into last year’s contest and it came at the hands of class 4A Alexandria. This season Alexandria defeated Courtland again, but narrowly escaped with a 33-29 win over the 1A school.

With all of the similarities in last year’s game, the Bulldogs are hoping that one aspect of the game will be different. Pike County turned the ball over too many times last season and with the number of turnovers the game shouldn’t have even been close. The Bulldogs fumbled four times and through one interception, but still managed to stay within striking distance of the top-ranked Chiefs.

Pike County and Courtland have both lost key players to graduation, but their playing styles are still the same. Grant said that Courtland has the same big offensive line, with their biggest player standing 6-fee-4 inches tall and weighing 350 pounds. Along with a strong line they’re also returning a talented tailback.

"We have to do a good job the entire game," Grant said. "They’re tough. But we’ve played some tough teams, and we know how to play tough teams."

Pike County is 3-2 on the season and is averaging right at 30 points a game while giving up an average of 19 points on defense. Courtland, 4-1, is averaging 34 points per game and holding its opponents to a meager 13 points per game.

All of that shouldn’t matter though because the Bulldogs have just two things on their mind, and that’s winning their homecoming game and getting revenge for last year’s loss to the Chiefs.