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Pike Lib falls in first round of AISA playoffs

Grove Hill - Pike Liberal Arts played their final game of the 2007 season Friday night coming up a bit short falling to the Clarke Prep Gators 57-20. Pike may have been outmanned, but like most of their games during the season, just would not give up and fought the Gators hard.

Coach Steven Kilcrease commented that the players attitude through the course of the year is the thing he is most proud of.

&#8220Our players could have laid down in this game and just gave up, but they didn't.” Kilcrease said. &#8220The same could be said for multiple games this year. The kids found it impossible to quit.”

A turnover on Pike's first play of the game but the Patriots in a hole quick. Clarke Prep would score on all four of this first half possessions following two Patriot fumbles, an interception and failed fourth down conversion.

Pike would put together a 10 play, 66 yard drive of their own late in the first quarter to split the Gator scores. Justin McLaughlin would carry 4 times for 15 yards and Jerel Foster would add the rest including a two yard touchdown dive early in the second quarter to cut the Gator lead in half 12-6 before going into halftime trailing 22-6.

Clarke Prep would waste no time adding two touchdowns in the first 6 minutes of the second half on the 56-yard dash by the Gator running back and a 46 yard screen pass on fourth and six.

Pike would respond and add their second score of the game on a three-yard run by Foster following a 53-yard keeper by quarterback Trey Walters.

The Gators would score twice more before Pike would touch the ball again. Following a Gator touchdown, a skwib kick would be recovered by the home team and a 31 yard completion would increase the Gator lead to 51-14.

The fourth quarter was highlighted by the second team squads for both teams. Clarke Prep's ‘B' running back was as hard to stop as the starter as he carried 4 times for 45 yards and the Gators final touchdown.

But the ‘never say die' Patriots showed their class and their backups added a score of their own. Blake Thomas' speed was somewhat of a surprise to the Gators as he carried five times for 66 yards, including two 50 yarders with the first being negated by a holding penalty. Thomas would end the scoring with a three-yard dive at the left pylon.