Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 24, 2009
For a fifth consecutive week, the Pike County High School Bulldogs will look to continue perfection under the lights on Friday.
This Friday however, more than just perfection is on the line – county bragging rights are also up for grabs.
The Bulldogs enter the game against Goshen High School with a perfect record, 5-0 and 4-0 in region play, and are hoping its recent trend of success is one that continues.
“We have felt all season long that the more we play, the better we get,” PCHS head coach Eddie Stephenson said.
“We are fortunate to be where we are [4-0], and I think winning has given our kids a lot of confidence.
“This team feels like it can win every week,” he added.
Last Friday night, on the road at Slocomb, PCHS put up 36 points, while holding the Red Tops to just eight and 99 total yards.
During the team’s winning streak, the Bulldogs have outscored its opponents 125-33, with the most points allowed being 18, which came in the season opener against Carroll.
A big reason for the Bulldogs offensive success has been in a large part because of sophomore running back Marquavous Knox and senior quarterback Josh Parker.
In the Bulldogs’ last game against Slocomb, Knox finished the game with 116 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and a 19-yard touchdown catch while Parker finished the game throwing for 101 yards and two touchdowns, completing four of his eight passes.
“We feel like we have four running backs on this team that our above average. Each can create misdirection and throw a defense off,” Stephenson said.
“Whoever has the hot hand that night [running the football] will get most of the carries, but if the [opposing] defense changes things up, we feel like we have the right personnel to continue to move the ball.”
The rival Eagles, a Class 2A, Region 3 opponent, will be looking to be bounce back against PCHS after a dismal 34-0 loss to the hands of Reeltown.
Goshen comes into the games with a 2-2 record, 2-1 in region play.
Stephenson said that as far as defense goes, the Bulldogs might have their hands full with the Eagles two running backs – Marcus Jackson and Reginald Foster.
“We feel like what we have been doing is all about the fundamentals [on defense],” Stephenson said.
“There is no doubt that [Jackson and Foster] are the best running backs that we have seen this season – a great one-two punch – and as long as we are able to get off the blocks and find ways to stop them, I think we are going be OK.”
Stephenson pointed out several other keys to the game that if executed, would send PCHS to a 5-0 start to the season.
“We are going to have to limit turnovers and penalties, play good defense and make sure we can get the running game going to move the football and score points when we have the opportunity to do so.”
Coming into the game, the Bulldogs are on the verge of being ranked in the Top 10 in Class 3A, according to the ASWA poll.
Pike County received 27 votes, which is good enough for 11th place in the poll.
Susan Moore is No. 10 right now, with 35 points.
“I think this team is maturing every week – how far they want to mature and how far they want this season to go is up to them.
“This team plays a team. We have met some of our expectations so far this season, but our next goal is to go to Goshen and get a win,” the coach said.
The Eagles and the Bulldogs will meet on the gridiron in Goshen on Friday night, with a kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.