Battle for top spot

Published 11:51 pm Thursday, October 9, 2008

After a full week of fun and festivities the week will close with the Homecoming game against Dale County for the Pike County Bulldogs.

PCHS (3-3, 3-1 AHSAA Class 3A, Region 2) hosts the 5-1 Warriors, who sit in second place in the region with the same 3-1 mark as the Bulldogs. It may be Homecoming, but PCHS head coach Brad Waggoner said this game is about more than a dance after the game.

“The most important thing for us is that this is a region game,” Waggoner said. “This game has playoff implications. It is not a do or die game, but it is a significant game for our season. We are right in the hunt and Dale County is a good team.”

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Usually the Homecoming foe is a team that would provide an “easy” win, but Dale County provides no such luxury for the Bulldogs. Waggoner said he knows that.

“They have the same record in the region as us,” Waggoner said. “We would be foolish to think that Dale County would not come in here fired up. No team wants to be the other team’s Homecoming, but we had no choice with how our schedule lined up.”

There has not been much talk about all that goes along with Homecoming week at Bulldog practice.

“There has not been much talk about Homecoming,” Waggoner said. “Hopefully these kids understand the importance of showing up to play mentally Friday night. But we will try to build on the confidence we started last week.”

To continue winning and form a winning streak, Waggoner said the Bulldogs must eliminate the big plays for the other team. All three touchdowns allowed against Abbeville last week were on big plays.

“If we take away the big play last week Abbeville doesn’t score on us,” Waggoner said. “We have to play smart and consistent and make plays because Dale County will try to wear us down. And we have to continue believing in each other whether the game is going good or bad.”

According to Waggoner, Dale County has been playing inspired football this year.

“Their kids really rallied after the tragedy they went through at the beginning of the year,” Waggoner said. “They seem to be playing for coach (Todd) Horne and they are playing with a lot of confidence. The coaches over there are continuing what coach Horne got started. They seem to get better every week and they are playing with a lot of passion.”

Horne was killed in a car crash July 29 and the Warriors keep on winning for their coach.

On the field, the Warriors have a quarterback and two running backs that will give the Bulldogs fits, according to Waggoner.

“They have a talented quarterback and two good running backs,” Waggoner said. “They are a team that is predominantly a running team, but they can hit the big pass if they need it.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.