Bulldogs nip Daleville

Published 3:21 am Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Pike County Bulldogs gained just enough yards to keep the winning streak alive Friday night in a 27-9 region victory over Daleville in Daleville.

The Bulldogs (5-3, 5-1 AHSAA Class 3A, Region 2) only gained 161 total offensive yards, but held the Warhawks to 152 yards of offense in the victory to extend their winning streak to three games. Until the final Warhawk drive, PCHS had Daleville (6-2, 5-1) at less than 100 total offensive yards in the game.

“Obviously Pike County football is still alive and well,” PCHS head coach Brad Waggoner said. “We have come together as a team in the past couple of games and that is how we won tonight, as a team. The defense played well again and we gave them pretty much nothing all night. Coach (Fred) Holland had a great defensive plan for tonight’s game.”

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CC Griffin normally contributes rushing yards and rushing touchdowns for the Bulldogs, but Griffin found a new way to help his team when the rushing alleys were not there Friday night. With the Bulldogs ahead 14-3 midway through the second quarter, Griffin fielded a punt, cut all the way across the field and shot up field for an 85-yard punt return for a touchdown. Elijah Caple and Spencer Bright sprung Griffin with successive blocks down the sideline.

“I was just thinking touchdown the whole way,” Griffin said. “I saw a lot of green and took it to the house.”

Waggoner said the punt return was the knockout punch that took the wind out of the Daleville’s sideline.

“Our defense played big, our offense scored when we needed to score and that punt return was a real backbreaker,” Waggoner said.

Before Griffin sprinted for the end zone, Daleville took a 3-0 lead on a 35-yard field goal from Travis Basso with 6:05 left in the first quarter, but Pike County scored the next 14 points on two touchdown runs from quarterback Josh Parker.

Parker busted through the line for a 1-yard TD with 3:05 left in the first. A missed PAT left the score at 6-3 and Parker again crossed the goal line with 7:41 to go in the second quarter, this time from three yards out.

Parker had 89 total offensive yards in the game and three touchdowns.

“We knew this was a must-win for us,” Parker said. “The coaches showed us what we needed to do in practice and we went out there and executed.”

After a scoreless third quarter, Daleville’s Tevin Flowers made his biggest mistake of the night on the Warhawks’ first possession in the final frame when he threw an interception to Bulldog linebacker Spencer Bright.

“The ball was tipped and I followed it to my hands and I wanted to take it to the house, but one of their guys got me,” Bright said. “But I ran him over and kept trucking forward to get my team some more yards.”

Bright knows the play would not have been possible if not for Denzell Patterson.

“My boy Denzell tipped the ball up and I took it from there,” Bright said.

Patterson said his eyes opened wide when he saw the ball coming at him.

“I saw it in the air and it was high up there, but I believed in myself that I could get to it and tip it,” Patterson said. “And when I tipped it I looked back and saw Spencer was going to get it so I let him have it.”

The play led to the Bulldogs’ final points in the game. PCHS milked four minutes off the clock with a eight-play, 23-yard drive that culminated with Parker connecting with wide out Jarrod Wilson for a 9-yard pass in the corner of the end zone on fourth-and-six. A missed PAT left the score at 27-3 with 7:35 to play.

However, the Warhawks still had some fight left, as they marched 80 yards in four plays on a 4-of-4 performance from Flowers. He hit Christopher Stone for an 11-yard touchdown strike and cut the lead to 27-9, but a failed two-point conversion finalized the score with 3:21 remaining.

The Bulldogs will vie for the top spot in Region 2 next week against Geneva in Bulldog Stadium. If the Bulldogs, Warhawks and Slocumb Red Tops all win next week there will be a three-way tie atop the region.

“We have to enjoy this win, but start getting ready for Geneva on Sunday,” Waggoner said.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

Click here for a gallery of Friday night’s action