Year makes a difference for PCHS

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 3, 2005

What a difference a year makes. The Pike County Bulldogs were 0-1, not including their preseason loss to Charles Henderson, going into the region opener against W.S. Neal.

&uot;That was a big turning point for us last year,&uot; Bulldogs coach Wayne Grant said. &uot;It was definitely a game we grew up in.&uot;

Pike County's 18-7 victory gave the Bulldogs something to build on. They kept building into the quarterfinal round of the playoffs.

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&uot;We finally learned how to win, what it takes to win, in that game,&uot; Grant said. &uot;It's something you have to go through with a young football team. Against BTW last year (an 18-0 loss in the season opener), we turned it over numerous times. We didn't turn it over against Neal. It was a big game.&uot;

W.S. Neal's Blue Eagles opened against Class 5A Eufaula last week. They lost 10-7 but the result impressed Grant.

&uot;Year in, year out W.S. Neal is a very competitive football program,&uot; he said. &uot;Most years they are very impressive. This team looks real big up front. They've got linemen who go 270, 280 and 310 across the defensive front. It'll be a big challenge to see if we can get them blocked.&uot;

Grant said his offense must rely on its speed this week.

&uot;We'll have to out-quick them and out-execute them,&uot; he said.

The significance of the first region game is evident.

&uot;Nobody wants to go one game down in the region,&uot; he said.