Pike County High School will be looking to keep its winning ways alive on Friday as the team prepares for class 3A Region 2 rival, Wicksburg.
Both teams had similar season openers last week, however with very different results.
While the Bulldogs were able to come from behind for a victory 19-18 victory over Carroll, the Panthers could not finish off a second half comeback, and lost to Geneva County 32-26.
“Wicksburg is a team that will play until the end,” PCHS head coach Eddie Stephenson said. “And they showed that against last week.”
“They have a lot of size and strength up front on both the offensive and defensive lines that has got us a little concerned.”
Stephenson mentioned that Bulldog defense would have to improve if the team wants to win again on Friday.
“We feel like Carroll had the momentum for the most of the game,” Stephenson said. “And that really could have worn us down.”
“These kids never quit fighting though and as the game went on, I felt like our team was getting stronger.”
Last week against the Eagles, PCHS gave a total of 212 yards and 12 first downs.
“[Wicksburg] has got some pretty good skilled players and we are going to have to try and find a way to contain them,” the coach added.
As far as the Bulldog offense, the first year PCHS head coach believes he has the right scheme.
“We have a four back system [at PCHS], each back is going to touch the ball but who ever has the hot hand will get the ball more.”
Against Carroll, senior quarterback Josh Parker had the hot hand, running for 113 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries.
Parker’s 19-yard dash to the end zone against Carroll tied the game late in the fourth quarter and his extra point in overtime sealed the deal for the Bulldogs.
Senior running back Marquavous Knox also had a big game, rushing for 97 yards on nine carries, including the game-winning touchdown in overtime.
All in all, the hybrid wing-T offense totaled for 270 yards on the ground on 37 carries.
“We believe in the plan we have come up with for Wicksburg, now it’s just a matter of taking advantage of opportunities,” Stephenson said.
This will be both teams first region game of the season, something that Stephenson expects to add to the game’s intensity.
“This is a region 2 rivalry game, everyone will be excited for it.”
Senior running back Chris “CeCe” Griffin, who got hurt after only one carry against Carroll and sat out the remainder of the game, will be a game-time decision this week, according to Stephenson.
Besides the offensive and defensive planning, the Bulldog head coach also believes this team has another advantage going for his team.
“I think the biggest thing for our kids was they were able to see results from their hard work right away [with a win],” Stephenson said.
“Last week was a hard week [of practice], but it helped us play fundamental football. “We are not [where we want to be yet] but we are very excited.”
The Bulldogs will play host to the Panthers on Friday night with the game time starting at 7 p.m.