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Patriots prepare for Glenwood Gators

Some teams will have a letdown game the week after such a close, hard-fought victory, but Pike Liberal Arts head coach Steven Kilcrease said the Patriots would have no such letdown this week.

“It won’t be that hard to get our guys up for this next game because all we have to say to them is, ‘It’s time for Glenwood’ and they respond,” Kilcrease said.

The No. 4-ranked Patriots (3-0, 2-0 AISA Class AAA, Region 1) took down then ranked No. 2 Fort Dale 22-16 in a game that was back-and-forth from the opening kickoff. Kilcrease said facing another good team, and ranked team at that, the Patriots will be prepared for the game.

“Pike has gone back and forth with these guys through the past couple of years,” Kilcrease said. “And the focus has definitely been there during practice this week. The first thing we did Monday was watch film and that was a huge win (last week), no doubt, but we didn’t do some things well and we are working to fix those things.”

Glenwood comes into the game off of a 27-13 victory over Hooper and ranked No. 7 in the Alabama Sports Writers Association Week 4 Poll.

Kilcrease said senior leadership would play a key role to keep Pike on a winning streak. He said the seniors would have to keep the team focused on their main goal of making it to Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium and the Class AAA state championship game.

The Patriots have battled through three games already, two against ranked opponents and Kilcrease said this next one is important to the remainder of the season.

“We knew before the season started that our first four games would be as tough as anybody’s,” he said. “We have known that for a while and our hard work started in the offseason and has continued into the season.”

No matter who the opponent is this is also another region game for the Patriots and Kilcrease said region games are the most important for obvious reasons.

“Getting into the playoffs and having a good seed in the playoffs is very important to us,” Kilcrease said. “Seeding could be a huge factor so we want to keep winning so that we don’t have to worry about the other teams like we did last year.”

Last week’s win showed Kilcrease something about his team’s character.

“I am so proud of how we got down and immediately came back and scored,” Kilcrease said. “That shows me that this team has great character and integrity. I know that they will battle through anything for four quarters and respond when they get down.”

Kilcrease and the Patriots will kickoff the Top-10 battle at 7 p.m. in Phenix City.