Mustangs prevail over Pike County

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 4, 2001

Sports Writer

MILLBROOK – The Pike County Bulldogs

received a timely wake-up call a week before the state playoffs as they saw their seven-game win streak snapped in a 29-20 loss to Stanhope Elmore.

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The Bulldogs outgained the Mustangs on offense, with 375 total yards compared to Stanhope’s 306, but failed to stop them when it counted.

"We made too many mistakes, "Coach Wayne Grant said. "We just weren’t focused. At one time we failed to snap the ball correctly on a punt and gave (Stanhope) great field position. We also made several mistakes in the kicking game."

Pike County had three kickoffs go out of bounds, setting Stanhope up at the 35 yard line twice and once at the 40-yard line.

Stanhope opened the game by grabbing a 7-0 lead with 8:34 remaining in the first quarter. Standout quarterback Quintin Griffin rolled right on a play-action pass and hit tailback Eric Brown in the corner of the endzone. Griffin finished the night with 91 yards passing, 90 yards rushing, an 89 yard kick return and three touchdowns.

"This was his first game back in six or seven games. I knew that if he played we would have problems, because he would spread our defense out," Grant said of Griffin, who played tailback last year.

Pike County took the lead on their next drive as quarterback Chris Nickson scored for the Bulldogs. On an option right Nickson struggled to keep his balance, but slipped through the Mustang defense for a 39-yard touchdown.The five-play drive covered 61 yards with Nickson accounting for 60 of those yards. On the two-point conversion Craig Flowers took a hand-off up the right side to put the Bulldogs up 8-7 with 6:10 left in the first quarter.On the ensuing kickoff Griffin, who Grant called "Shifty", returned the kick 89 yards to the Pike County four-yard line. On the next play Stanhope went ahead 14-8.

Pike County had a chance to regain the lead to start the second quarter, but luck wasn’t on their side. Nickson passed to Joey Spikner, who had beaten the Mustang secondary, but the ball bounced off of Spikner’s hands at the 30-yard line negating a sure touchdown.

The Mustangs managed to tack another score on before the half. On fourth and goal from the two-yard line Griffin darted around left end to put Stanhope up 22-8 at the half.

The Bulldogs powerful running game was limited as Terrell Gray sat out with a foot injury and Craig Flowers didn’t return after the first quarter because of an injured shoulder. Nickson continued to run well as he racked up 131 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. He was 11-of-18 passing with one touchdown and 161 yards.

In the second half the Bulldogs wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Nickson hit Elijah Daniel for a 31-yard touchdown and PCHS trailed 22-14. After the Mustangs were forced to punt, Pike County put together a ten-play scoring drive. Dontrell Flowers took a hand-off at the 10-yard line, hesitated for a second, and then powered his way into the endzone. The score remained 22-20 as the two-point conversion failed.

Stanhope sealed the victory with a 49-yard run by Griffin in the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs finish the regular season with a 7-3 record and will face Fultondale in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs next week in Brundidge.