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Patriots roll into Montevallo undefeated

Jason McDaniel and the Shelby Academy offensive line, that includes a couple 300-pounders, stand in the way of the Pike Liberal Arts School Patriots remaining undefeated.

The Class AA Raiders (3-2) and the AAA Patriots (5-0) square off Friday night in Montevallo.

“They have some big backs and their offensive and defensive lines are huge,” PLAS head coach Steven Kilcrease said. “We are concerned about how to stop their backs. And we haven’t faced a team that is that big on the offensive and defensive lines.”

The first-string Patriot defense has been up to the challenge all year and last week in a 36-0 blanking of Taylor Road PLAS held the Tigers to negative rushing yards until the last play of the game.

“I think we are getting better at every position as the year goes along,” Kilcrease said. “We were able to play a three-man front last week and still shut down their rushing attack. We know there will be teams we can’t do that against, but that is great for our team.”

Kilcrease said the play of the guys up front have fueled the defensive dominance.

“Our defensive line has been doing exactly what they are supposed to do,” he said. “They are keeping the o-line off the backers and the defensive backs.”

Continuing to stick to the plan on defense is what Kilcrease said will yield the best result against Shelby.

On the offensive side of things, he said the Patriots would use speed to beat size.

“We have to use our speed to our advantage,” Kilcrease said. “We can’t get into a grind it out type of game. We are a physical team, but we want to spread it out and use that speed. We will run it at them early to see if we can knock them off the ball, but we will not do that all game.”

The Patriots enter the game without their starting tight end and outside linebacker, Brock Collier, who sprained his MCL last week. Sam Carroll will replace him at tight end Friday.

Josh Taylor will replace Collier at OLB if he can go. Taylor has a hurt hand and A few other players are working at OLB in case Taylor cannot go.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. James Acre Stadium in Montevallo.