Patriots tie Cougars 6-6 in opener

Published 12:21 am Saturday, August 22, 2009

The defending state champion Pike Liberal Arts Patriots took to the field last night for the first time this season and played to a 6-6 stalemate with Crenshaw Christian.

Pike held the lead at halftime, but a touchdown by CCA in the third quarter knotted the score and neither team could break the deadlock in the last period.

“We were sloppy,” said PLAS head coach Steven Kilcrease. “We were really undisciplined, and penalties killed us.”

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Pike’s only score of the game came in the second quarter on a 40-yard run by Taylor Stephens.

The Patriots had a couple of big plays in the third quarter, like Trey Walters’s 30-yard pass to Daniel Powell and a 33-yard catch by Stephens to put PLAS on the 12-yard line, but they were unable to capitalize.

After Stephens’s long catch and run, a pass was deflected and intercepted by CCA to end Pike’s scoring threat.

Despite giving up a score to Crenshaw on a halfback pass, the Pike defense played tough in a fourth quarter that saw the Cougars control the ball for nearly the entire last eight minutes.

“Defensively, I thought we played well,” Kilcrease said. “We tackled well, and I’m pleased about that because this is a good CCA team.”

Nick McLaughlin led the defense with eight tackles, while Will Starling had seven tackles and a fumble recovery.

Daniel Powell was close behind with six tackles.

Walters was 5-9 for 66 yards passing on the night, and Stephens led the rushing attack with 56 yards.

McLaughlin and Powell racked up 30 and 27 yards on the ground, respectively.

“We’re just going to have to learn and get better,” Kilcrease said.

The Patriots will travel to Morgan Academy next week for the season opener.