Pike road warriors

Published 5:48 pm Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Traveling to play football games is something the Pike County Bulldogs have grown accustomed to so far in the 2008 high school football season. The Bulldogs will hit the road for the third consecutive week to face region foe Headland Friday night.

“You have to be much better than the other team when you are going on the road,” PCHS head coach Brad Waggoner said. “We were better last week and we will do our best to be better this week, but I know Headland will be working hard to get their first win of the season.”

Headland (0-2, 0-1 AHSAA Class 3A, Region 2) has struggled early, but Waggoner said the Bulldogs (1-1, 1-0 Region 2) cannot take them lightly.

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Waggoner said he is happy with how the Bulldogs have improved each week this year.

“Right now we are in a process,” Waggoner said. “We need to get better each week and the next step in that process is Headland. This is a yearlong process and we just need to keep moving forward.”

To get past Headland, Waggoner said PCHS would have to slow down the Rams’ feature back, Michael Thompson.

“Thompson is a senior and he is their big play guy,” Waggoner said. “He has speed and he runs hard.”

But most importantly, Waggoner said the Bulldogs need to limit mistakes to come out on top.

“We could be sitting at 2-0, but we made too many mistakes against Carroll,” Waggoner said. “We need to take care of ourselves and that will be tough because region games are always tough battles. And Headland is one of those teams that has a lot of players they will throw at us.”

One key area for the Bulldogs to focus on this week will be special teams.

“One negative for us against Wicksburg was our special teams,” Waggoner said. “We were not good overall. Our coverage downfield and our punt returns were not what we would like. We have been working on that this week and we will be better this week.”

Waggoner said the most exciting part of this season has been following the progress of his young team.

“At one point last week we had four sophomores and one freshman out there on the field,” Waggoner said. “And that was at a key point in the game. It is exciting to see how far our young guys have come in the process. I look forward to seeing how far they can go and they have done a great job of progressing each week.”

The Bulldogs rolled over Wicksburg with 414 yards of total offense, including 258 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 34 carries from the junior duo of quarterback Josh Parker and tailback CC Griffin.

Waggoner said Parker and Griffin will be key against Headland as well, but the play of the offensive line will also be a key component.

“We need to continue to get better on the line of scrimmage,” Waggoner said. “And Josh Parker needs to continue to progress from the quarterback position.”

The Bulldogs and Rams butt heads beginning at 7 p.m. in Headland.