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Patriots prep for playoffs

They already have a region championship locked up and they will be hosting a playoff game for the first game in 12 years, but the Pike Liberal Arts School Patriots still have one game remaining in the 2008 regular season.

The Class AAA No. 5 Patriots host the AA Autauga Generals Friday night at DeWight Ward Field at Delaney Kervin Stadium.

“We talked about this game Monday and we told the guys that we need to use this game to prepare for the playoffs and correct our mistakes from last Friday,” PLAS head coach Steven Kilcrease said. “I am sure they are looking at this game as a chance to knock off a AAA Region champion. They will use that as motivation, so we cannot take this game lightly.”

The Generals will run a spread offense at PLAS and Kilcrease said their defensive set could be one of two looks. Autauga went away from their normal defensive set last week and the Patriots don’t really know what to expect when the General defense takes the field.

“They are a good AA football team, which is obvious by the fact of them being in the playoffs,” Kilcrease said.

Kilcrease said the Patriots will use this game as an opportunity to get a lot of players some playing time in preparation for the playoffs.

“We will hopefully get to play a lot of different people,” Kilcrease said. “There is no disrespect towards Autauga, but we want to give a lot of people an opportunity to get some playing time.”

The Patriots want to get many people in the game, but at the same time Kilcrease said they want to keep the momentum they have right now going into the playoffs.

“Since the Lee-Scott loss we have beaten some good teams and we have momentum going into the playoffs,” Kilcrease said. “As a coaching staff we want to make sure we continue that momentum this week.”

So far, Kilcrease has not noticed any talk of the Patriots’ first round playoff opponent, the Marengo Academy Longhorns, in practice this week.

“I don’t hear our guys talking about Marengo,” he said. “And I have said before that this is a good, focused group of guys. There has not been a whole lot of looking forward this year and we will just go out and take care of business yet again this week.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Troy.