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‘Dawgs D dominates

Pike County junior Josue Rodriguez came up big for the Bulldogs for a second week in a row Friday night. One week removed from creating the fumble that led to the game-winning play against Abbeville, Rodriguez blocked a PAT to preserve a 6-6 tie for PCHS early in the fourth quarter of the Bulldogs’ 14-6 home victory over Dale County on Homecoming.

“I knew one of us would block the kick,” Rodriguez said. “Nobody blocked me and I just put my hand up and got the ball. I was really excited when I saw the ball fall to the ground.”

The Bulldogs (4-3, 4-1 AHSAA Class 3A, Region 2) were clinging to a 6-0 lead as the fourth quarter opened. It took the Warriors (5-2, 3-2) four plays to score on their first drive of the quarter and tie the score at 6-6, but Rodriguez denied them the lead.

“It was by far the biggest play of the game,” PCHS head coach Brad Waggoner said. “That play is what told me we have a different team now. In the past we would have gotten down and started pouting when they (Dale County) scored, but this team is full of guys who want to be here now and they never quit. This was a huge win for us in the region. Our guys believed in each other.”

Pike County’s defense clamped down on Dale County’s running game all night and only allowed 143 yards of total offense on 43 plays with 45 of those yards coming on the Warriors’ lone touchdown.

The unit was on the field for most of the third quarter. The Warriors ran 17 plays in more than 10 minutes during the quarter, but the Bulldogs forced an incomplete pass on fourth and goal from the 3 yard line.

Junior running back CC Griffin was a little banged up according to Waggoner, so senior tailback Gerald Adams got the starting nod and ran with it.

He compiled 150 yards on 25 carries and added a 17-yard touchdown run. Adams’ TD was the game-winning score.

“I just wanted to run the ball hard all night and when I got in the end zone I was excited,” Adams said. “I was just doing my best to get first downs and help my team.”

The offense for Pike County compiled 264 yards on 41 plays and two touchdowns, and it was the offensive line that created the offense.

“Our offensive line whipped their d-line and that is how we ran for so many yards,” Waggoner said.

For the second straight week Tevin Andrews started at wide receiver and defensive back for the Bulldogs and for the second straight week PCHS got a win. Andrews opened the scoring in the game on a 15-yard strike from junior quarterback Josh Parker with 1:15 to play in the first half.

“On the first one I fumbled, got spun around and I looked for the ball when I turned back around, but it was too late,” Andrews said. “I was a little depressed, but my teammates told me to stay in the game and that they had my back. I just ran my routes and did my best for my quarterback tonight.”

Parker was that quarterback and he had his best night of the season. It may not have been his top statistical night, but it was the best in the eyes of his head coach.

“Josh Parker made some great decisions out there tonight and I think it was by far his best game,” Waggoner said. “He took control of the offense, especially in the fourth quarter when we needed him the most.”

After Dale County tied the score with 8:45 to play in the game, Parker returned a kickoff 60 yards to the DCHS 30 yard line. The Bulldogs turned the ball over, but Parker leaped to pick off the Dale County quarterback three plays later and led the game-winning four-play drive that took less than two minutes off the clock on the Bulldogs’ next drive. He connected with Griffin for the two-point conversion and PCHS sealed the 14-6 win with stingy defensive pressure.

Parker finished the night 8-of-10 for 104 yards and one touchdown. Parker said he wanted to be the one to lead his team when they needed a leader.

“A couple of weeks ago we had some guys leave this team and I knew someone needed to step up and lead this team,” Parker said. “I thought that as the quarterback, that person needed to be me. And I want to give a big shout out to my team because everyone did what we need to do to get a win and we stuck together.”

Andrews had two catches for 50 yards and senior wide receiver Jarrod Wilson added four catches for 45 yards.

Senior defensive lineman Elijah Caple led the defense with 15 tackles. Senior linebacker Eddie Carter added 12 tackles and junior linebacker Spencer Bright chipped in 10 tackles.

The Bulldogs head to Daleville for a matchup with the Warhawks next Friday. The Warhawks sit in first place of Region 2.