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Bulldogs battle for region title at home tonight

There are many scenarios that could play out tonight on the football fields in Brundidge, Newton and Slocomb, but Pike County Bulldogs head coach Brad Waggoner said his team can only worry about what happens in Bulldog Stadium.

“We want a shot at the region championship and to do that we need to win Friday night,” Waggoner said. “We are peaking at the right time and we are headed in the right direction, but we cannot get complacent in this game.”

Waggoner said the Bulldogs’ (5-3, 5-1 AHSAA Class 3A, Region 2) opponent tonight, the Geneva Panthers, are a dangerous team.

“This has become a big rivalry between these two schools in the past couple years and Geneva is dangerous,” Waggoner said. “They always have a good football team.”

And this year the Panthers have extra motivation.

“They have been left out of the playoffs and that is an extra incentive to play hard now,” Waggoner said. “Their season is over and they will try and keep us from winning the region.”

If the Bulldogs take down the Panthers, the Daleville Warhawks travel to Wicksburg and get a win and the Slocomb Tigers take out the Dale County Warriors there will be a three-way tie atop the Region 2 standings.

According to the AHSAA Fall Sports Book, the first five tiebreakers involving three teams would not apply and it would come down to the final week of the season. The Bulldogs do not have a game in Week 10, but Daleville and Slocomb each have a game. If both of them win then Pike County would be crowned the region champs. If Daleville wins and Slocumb loses Pike County would be the region champs, but if Slocumb wins and Daleville loses then Slocomb would be the region champs.

The process is complicated, but Waggoner said without a win tonight it does not matter for the Bulldogs. And if Slocomb loses tonight then the Bulldogs clinch the region championship with a victory over Geneva.

“We have to be prepared for every week and keep moving forward,” Waggoner said. “We are playing for ourselves and that is all we can worry about. If we win the worst we can finish in is a tie for first.”

Geneva will throw a double-quarterback threat at the Bulldogs in the form of senior Nicholas Bahr and sophomore Bradley Horne.

They also have one of the biggest offensive lines the Bulldogs have seen all year and they dress out 17 seniors and 50-plus players.

“They are a well-coached team and it will be tough to deal with their depth, but we will battle hard and hopefully come away with a win,” Waggoner said.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. from Bulldog Stadium.