Rebellion on the road
Before the No. 9 Pike Liberal Arts School Patriots can worry about facing the defending state champions, they have to get over a tough rivalry loss to the Lee-Scott Warriors.
“We have to rebound from our loss (last week) and bounce back,” PLAS head coach Steven Kilcrease said. “But we had a good week of practice and our guys know who we are playing.”
The Patriots (6-1, 4-1 AISA Class AAA, Region 1) suffered their first loss of the season last week and the road does not get any easier this week, as they meet the defending AAA state champion Bessemer Academy Rebels in Bessemer tonight.
But Kilcrease said there could be positives to playing Bessemer right after a loss.
“I would much rather play Bessemer than a team we are supposed to beat by four touchdowns after a loss like that,” he said. “Our guys have been talking about Bessemer all summer. They want a shot at them. We have nothing to lose in this game, but if we make mistakes like we did last week with turnovers and penalties we will lose because they are a very good team.”
The Rebels No. 1 weapon on offense is senior quarterback Garrett Pinciotti.
Kilcrease said Pinciotti is a great athlete and he has two speedsters to throw to in Auburn University commit Harris Gaston and 6-foot-5 senior Michael Sellers.
Both receivers will stretch the field and Pinciotti will also hit them on 20-yard out routes, which Kilcrease said could give the Patriots fits all night.
Kilcrease said the tackling must get much better for the Patriots to pull off the upset of Bessemer.
A mixed attack against Bessemer’s 5-3 stack defensive look is what Kilcrease said is the key to victory.
“We have to be able to throw the ball some and of course we will do what we do best, which is run the football,” he said.
At the front of that rushing attack is senior tailback Jerel Foster.
Foster has rushed for 1,094 yards and 13 touchdowns in seven games so far this season.
Foster and the Patriots head to Bessemer tonight and kickoff is set for 7 p.m. from Rebels Field.