Homecoming kings?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Pike County Bulldogs have looked dominate through the first five games of this season.

In fact the closest a team has been to challenging the Bulldogs came back in week one against Carroll, when PCHS won 19-18.

Since then, the team has won each game by double-digits, including three games in which the Bulldogs won by 20 points or more.

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Bulldogs head coach Eddie Stephenson said a big part of the season’s success has been because of the team’s ability to focus on the basics.

“We concentrate on the fundamentals, and that is something we have preached all year long,” Stephenson said.

“Our kids are focused on the task at hand – we are always searching for ways to improve.”

Last week against cross-county rival Goshen, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 15-point lead and never looked back as the team strolled to a 36-14 win.

As they have all season long, seniors Marquavous Knox and Josh Parker led the way for the Bulldogs.

Knox carried the majority of the load, finishing with game with 151 rushing yards and three touchdowns on nine carries.

“The keys to this season have been playing good defense, which I think we have so far and controlling the clock and tempo and really remaining in control of the game – this has been our main philosophy,” Stephenson said.

After spending the past two weeks on the road, the Bulldogs are returning home to celebrate the school’s homecoming.

The region opponent that stands in the way of PCHS having a happy homecoming is the Yellow Jackets of Abbeville, who comes into the game with a 3-2 overall record, 2-1 in region play.

“It seems like for us the road games are easier than the home games,” Stephenson said about the preparation involved with home games.

“Homecoming anywhere is always a big deal. The kids are excited.

“There are a lot of the distractions and while the kids want to have fun, we have reminded them throughout the week that it’s our job to win the game and we have been focusing on doing that,” the coach added.

Even though Abbeville has a winning record, the team has allowed more points then it has scored, at 90-122.

PCHS on the other hand has done the opposite, outscoring its opponents 161-47.

“We knew the second half would be difficult because of the team’s we would face. We knew that we would be seeing some of the region contenders.”

The winner of this game could be in the driver’s seat for the region championship.

“This game against Abbeville will be a big one for us,” Stephenson said.

“They are an explosive football team with great skill players – probably the best we have season so far this season.

“There offense has the ability to make big plays happen, so naturally, we have to keep their big plays to a minimum,” he added.

With a win, the Bulldogs record would remain unbeaten at 6-0, something that Stephenson said he has spoken with his players about all season long.

“We have talked a lot about the record and the ratings – but one think we always talk about is playing for the future,” the coach said.

“These kids are pretty level headed and know that the game is played between the lines and once is begins, the records don’t mean a thing.”

The Bulldogs will look to keep its perfection intact today against Abbeville, with a kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.

Check out www.troymessenger.com for score updates as they happen from Bulldog Stadium.