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Patriots fight for first in region standings

First place will be on the line Friday in Auburn when the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots take on the Lee-Scott Warriors.

Lee-Scott (4-2, 4-0) is the only team in Class AAA Region I left with a perfect region record, a record the Patriots (4-1, 2-1) will look to spoil.

A victory could also provide the Patriots with a bit of redemption, as Lee-Scott was the only team to defeat PLAS during its championship season in 2008.

While revenge could be a motive for extra effort, PLAS head coach Steven Kilcrease said the battle for playoff seeding is at the forefront of the team’s mind.

“With Fort Dale getting beat a couple of weeks ago, that really opens things up for everybody,” Kilcrease said. “Us, Fort Dale, Macon-East and Lee-Scott are all lobbying for positioning as far as playoffs are concerned. Every region game is a big game, and with this being Lee-Scott, it’s always a big game when these two schools play.”

Kilcrease is very familiar with the Warriors, as he spent a year at Lee-Scott as an assistant coach.

Kilcrease’s familiarity with the Warrior defense should be evident to PLAS fans.

“Their defense is basically kind of like our defense,” Kilcrease said. “They’ll do a lot of the same things that we’ll do, with a few things that are different. But, they’ll be in a ‘40’ front, a four-man front most of the night. There’s a possibility we could see some three-man front, but they’ll mainly stick to that four-man.”

The Warrior offense should also present some problems for the Patriots. The Warriors have plenty of talent on offense that has Kilcrease worried.

“Offensively, they’ve got a lot of playmakers,” Kilcrease said. “Will Garner at tailback, Trey Moreman at quarterback and Sam Cowles at running back are all great players. Those three in the backfield and Tucker Tuberville are dangerous. They do a lot of different things offensively with those guys. We’re just trying to get a bead on what they like to do and when they like to do it.”

While the Warrior offense has the potential to be explosive on ay given play, PLAS will have some advantage of its own.

The Patriots come into this week’s game with plenty of momentum, this after last week’s 52-30 win over Tuscaloosa Academy. The Patriots led 32-0 at the half, and never looked back from there.

“Ever since I’ve been here, these guys have played well on the road for the most part,” Kilcrease said. “I was concerned early on. It didn’t seem like we had a lot of excitement, but we came out and they executed the gameplan and looked good doing it. It was a good win for us.”

Kilcrease said the team’s enthusiasm has been up since the win over Tuscaloosa Academy, something he attributed to the big game atmosphere that comes with preparing for Lee-Scott.

“They’ve been watching more film, and they know what’s at stake,” Kilcrease said. “I know they’re excited, and I’m expecting their best Friday night.”

PLAS and Lee-Scott will kickoff Friday at 7 p.m. in Auburn.