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Patriots get medieval in war with Knights tonight

The No. 5 Pike Liberal Arts School Patriots are already in the AISA playoffs, but the Patriots could lock up a home playoff game with a win in Cecil tonight.

The Patriots (7-1, 4-1 AISA Class AAA, Region 1) hit the road for a matchup with the Macon-East Knights (4-4, 2-3) and PLAS head coach Steven Kilcrease said he is not worried about the much-talked about “trap game.”

“That shouldn’t be a factor because our guys know this is Macon and they really want to win this one,” Kilcrease said. “This has become somewhat of a heated rivalry in the past few years and I think our guys are ready to play. They have been focused all week and we have had a good week of practice.”

If nothing else, Kilcrease said the spanking that the Knights gave PLAS last year would have his team fired up for the game. Macon-East left Troy with a 35-0 victory in 2007.

“I don’t think Pike has beaten this team many times in the past 10 years and I know I have had trouble with them as a coach,” Kilcrease said. “It has been at least six years since I remember beating them as a coach. And that game last year is something the coaches here have not let the team forget about.”

However, Kilcrease said the focus in the locker room immediately shifted to the Knights after the Patriots’ huge 40-28 victory last week over defending AAA champ Bessemer on the road.

“I heard one of our guys comment after the game last week, ‘All right, we got this one, now we have to take care of Macon,’” Kilcrease said.

Hosting a playoff game is something the Patriots have not done since 1996 and Kilcrease said he wants to win a region championship for one reason.

“I would be excited for the team and this program,” Kilcrease said. “They have not had a home playoff game since 1996 and if we could achieve a region championship that would be one of our preseason goals down with one to go.”

If the Patriots win and the Fort Dale Eagles take down the Lee-Scott Warriors at home the Patriots will clinch the region championship, but if Lee-Scott clips the Eagles, the Warriors will own the 2008 Region 1 title.

But Kilcrease said all playoff talk aside; the Knights will throw a lot of different formations at the Patriots in an attempt to “have some fun.”

“What scares us more than anything is that they will try and keep it fun this week,” Kilcrease said. “He (Knights’ head coach Glynn Lott) is notorious for running different sets and that is what scares us. So we are concerned about what we are going to see.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. tonight from Cecil.