‘Dogs go hunting

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 2, 2001

Sports Writer

Coach Wayne Grant doesn’t believe that Stanhope Elmore’s 3-6 record does the Mustangs justice.

"They’ve been playing a lot of good teams. Their record doesn’t really indicate how good of a team they are," Grant said. "I know that this is going to be a tough ball game for us, and we’re going to have to play extremely well. We can’t afford to have any turnovers."

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The 5A Mustangs’ opponents have been a mixed bag this season. When they’ve been easy they’ve been really easy, but when they’ve been tough they’ve been in champion-like form. Stanhope’s first loss of the season came at the hands of 6A Prattville. Prattville is now 9-0 on the year and ranked number four in the state. The Mustangs have also dropped games to big names like

No. 3 Benjamin Russell, 11th ranked Eufaula, and 13th ranked Valley.

The Bulldogs have no pity for Stanhope though, after losing to the Mustangs last year by a score of 25-6.

"We’d like to win this year simply because we didn’t win last year against them," Grant said.

The loss last year dropped Pike County to 6-4 to end the regular season.

Pike County, 7-2 and 5-1 in the region, posted a 34-21 win over Montgomery Academy last week in an impressive win. The Bulldogs ran the ball effectively and when they were sure that they had drawn the Eagles in with the run, they burned them with the long pass.

"We’re gonna beat people running, and if they key on the run then we’ll hit them deep. We’ve been doing it all year and nobody’s figured it out yet," Grant said.

Last week Joey Spikner had a couple of key receptions and one went for a touchdown.

"Spikner has good hands and catches the ball well, so he’s always a dependable receiver. If he can get a step on a defensive back then it’s going to be hard for them to catch him," Grant said.

It looks like the Bulldogs will be facing another ground assault much like last week’s contest against Montgomery Academy.

"(Stanhope) mixes it up pretty well. They’re like us, in that they don’t pass that much. They probably only throw five or 10 times a game," Grant said.

A lot of teams have tried to run with the ‘Dogs this season only to run out of legs late in the game. Pike County has used several dependable rushers in Chris Nickson, Craig Flowers, and Terrell Gray, who have combined to give the Bulldogs a potent 1-2-3 punch.

"You’ve got to be playing as good as possible this time of year because of the playoffs, so we’re going to be ready," Grant said.

The Bulldogs will travel to Millbrook this week hoping to bring home their eighth consecutive victory of the season over the Mustangs, which lost to Wetumpka 28-14 last week.