Bulldogs hold off MA Eagles
Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 28, 2001
The Pike County Bulldogs,7-2, fought off a furious second half comeback attempt and a barrage of onside kicks by Montgomery Academy to down the Eagles 34-21 in Montgomery.
At halftime the Bulldogs went into the locker room with a comfortable 21-0 lead, but the Eagles refused to break and scored 14 unanswered points in the second half. Pike County’s special teams played a key role in the victory as the Eagles showered the Bulldogs with several onside kicks.
"It worried me a little bit," Coach Wayne Grant said, after the Eagles had recovered an onside kick and were preparing to attempt another one. "(I was thinking) if they get the ball again then we’re in trouble."
The Eagles recovered the kick following a 12-play scoring drive that covered 96 yards and cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 21-7 with 1:26 remaining in the third quarter. The Eagles capitalized on the onside kick recovery by scoring again on a tired Bulldog defense with 10:12 left in the game.
The Bulldogs’ defensive unit, which held M.A. to 47 total yards in the first half, found strength again and held off the late rally.
Pike County’s first score of the game came on a fullback dive by Junior Joe Copes. With 2:43 left in the first quarter Copes scored from the one-inch line to put the Bulldogs up 7-0. Copes finished the night with 33 yards on 11 carries.
The Bulldogs shocked the M.A. fans with a 98-yard touchdown strike in the second quarter as Chris Nickson connected with wideout Joey Spikner. Nickson fired up top to Spikner, from his own two-yard line, and Spikner outran the defense for the touchdown.
Down 14-0, late in the second quarter, the Eagles were stunned again as Pike County pulled off a miraculous-type play. The Bulldogs used seven plays to reach Montgomery Academy’s 30 yard line, but with only four seconds before halftime the chances of scoring seemed doubtful. Nickson dropped back and threw a hail mary pass toward a double-covered Nick Walker. Walker, standing 6-3, used his height to his advantage, hauled the ball in at the 5-yard line and walked into the endzone.
PCHS totaled 469 yards on offense. Nickson threw for two touchdowns and 162 yards, with his main target being Spikner, who caught two passes for 132 yards. In Grant-like fashion the Bulldogs ran all over the M.A. defense as Craig Flowers led the way with 124 yards on 11 carries while scoring two touchdowns. Also contributing to the Bulldogs ground game was Nickson with 85 yards and Terrell Gray with 65 yards.
The Bulldog defense was dominate in the first half and held M.A. quarterback Ty Tyson to only three yards. In the second half Tyson took advantage of Pike County’s prevent defense and threw for 118 yards and two scores. PCHS limited M.A.’s run-based offense, led by Dexter Jackson, to 112 yards and one touchdown.
"I’m excited about our team right now and the way that we’re playing," Grant said. "We’ve got a seven-game winning streak going, so I’m proud of that. I think the last time we won seven games in a row was probably back in 1985."