Bulldogs bite Wicksburg
Josh Parker and Christopher “CC” Griffin carried the Pike County Bulldogs to a 29-0 victory over Wicksburg Friday night on the road at Panther Stadium.
The junior duo combined for 258 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 34 carries for the Bulldogs. Parker added 75 yards and one touchdown through the air to generate 333 of the Bulldogs’ 414 yards of total offense and all the touchdowns on the night.
Parker had 135 yards and two scores on 18 carries, with 109 yards and both touchdowns coming in the second half.
“I always think of myself as more of a rushing quarterback and coach drew up some big plays for me out there today,” Parker said. “I hit the holes with speed and did what had to be done.”
Griffin toted the rock 16 times for 123 yards and one touchdown. His touchdown run was a 55-yard scamper with 6:59 remaining in the second quarter.
“The coaches kept telling me to get three yards per carry and I was doing that,” Griffin said. “But then I got to take one to the house.”
The Bulldogs (1-1, 1-0 AHSAA Class 3A, Region 2) struck early and kept the Panthers off the scoreboard all night. They also held Wicksburg to 163 total offensive yards.
“We came out strong tonight and dominated the line on both sides of the ball,” PCHS head coach Brad Waggoner said. “It feels good to get that first win. Any time you can get a shutout it feels great. I am proud of the kids for how they played out there tonight.”
Waggoner and the rest of the coaching staff were not out there on the field, but senior linebacker Eddie Carter credits the coaches with the shutout.
“The coaches did a great job in practice of showing us what (Wicksburg) would do,” Carter said. “And in the game we did everything the coaches had showed us and we had a great game. It was wild out there and it feels awesome to get that first win.”
Carter was a pain in Wicksburg’s side all night, compiling eight tackles.
Parker opened the scoring by hittting senior wide receiver Quan Bryant for a 25-yard touchdown strike with 7:54 to go in the first quarter. Senior Elijah Caple put the PAT through for the 7-0 lead.
Bryant knew he needed to step up his role in the Bulldogs’ first region contest.
“I am a senior and I knew I needed to make plays today,” Bryant said. “I did my best to help the team win.”
His best was two catches for 59 of the Bulldogs’ 75 yards through the air. His second catch put Pike County on the verge of a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
After swapping possessions with the Panthers twice, Griffin rushed 55 yards for pay dirt on the first play of the Bulldogs’ third possession. Parker rushed around the right end for the two-point conversion and 15-0 lead.
Wicksburg threatened to score before the teams headed to halftime. After Pike sophomore linebacker Jacques Walker picked off Wicksburg quarterback Colby Thomley at the Panther 28 yard line, Wicksburg’s Evan Smith intercepted Parker on the next play to give the Panthers the ball back on the PCHS 48
But the PCHS defense produced a goal line stand that ended with the clock striking zero on the second quarter.
The Bulldogs increased their lead to 22-0 with 46 seconds left in the third quarter. Parker and Griffin combined to rush six times for 70 yards and Parker punched it in with a one-yard run over the middle. Caple connected on the PAT.
The final score came with 10:54 to go in the fourth quarter.
Pike started in Wicksburg territory, Parker rushed for 13 yards, connected with Bryant on a pass for 34 yards and busted through the Panther defense from one yard out again for the 29-0 lead after a true PAT from Caple.
Senior defensive back Jarrod Wilson intercepted a pass to seal the game for PCHS.
Junior linebacker Josue Rodriguez led the charge on defense, with nine tackles and one sack, junior linebacker Spencer Bright added seven tackles and sophomore defensive end Deion Nickson had a sack. Senior defensive lineman Melvin Lampley recovered a fumble.
On offense, Walker rushed for 55 yards on seven carries and senior running back Gerald Adams had 26 yards on seven carries.
The Bulldogs hit the road for the third straight week next Friday.
They will face another region opponent in Headland at 7 p.m.