Bulldogs deny Dale County dignity

Published 11:19 am Saturday, October 10, 2009

MIDLAND CITY — The product on the field may not have been pretty, but the Pike County Bulldogs were able to defeat the Dale County Warriors 20-0 Friday night.

The No. 8 Bulldogs (7-0) held the ball for nearly 10 fewer minutes than did the Warriors (0-7), but were still able to shutout their opponents.

PCHS head coach Eddie Stephenson said the stingy Warrior defense was something he and his coaching staff anticipated seeing.

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“Dale County has played well all year defensively, and we felt like they would again tonight,” Stephenson said. “We felt like they were doing some things that made it tough for us to move the football. But, coming on the road and winning 20-0, you’ve got to be happy, and we certainly are.”

The Warriors held the ball for roughly 15 minutes in the first half, but never moved the ball past the Pike County 16.

The time of possession was much more even in the second half, something Stephenson attributed to halftime adjustments.

“They didn’t score, but they did move the football,” Stephenson said. “In the second half, we just did a good job of making the adjustments and stopping them from driving, and that really helped us to take control of the game.”

The two teams mainly traded punts for most of the night, and may have continued to do so for the entire game if it had not been for three big Bulldog plays.

The first of those plays came at the end of the first quarter, when Marquavous Knox broke an 80-yard touchdown run to put the first points of the night on the board. Josh Parker’s extra point made it 7-0.

The Bulldogs would score again on their next possession, this time on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Parker to Stephan Foster. Another extra point from Parker made it 14-0, and the rest of the night would be largely uneventful.

In fact, neither team would score again until the 2:22 mark of the fourth quarter.

Facing a third-and-19 from the Bulldog 42, Parker sprinted 53 yards to set up PCHS with a first-and-goal from the DCHS 5.

Johnny Brown, Jr. punched the ball into the end zone on the next play, and essentially ending any hope of a Warrior miracle.

Parker led Pike County on the ground, carrying the ball 14 times for 146 yards. Knox also added 99 yards and a touchdown on five carries.

The Bulldogs were without Chris “CeCe” Griffin, who sat out the game to further heal an ankle injury.

The win puts the Bulldogs just two more victories away from a perfect regular season.

“When you lay it out, you believe you can win every game,” Stephenson said. “But, it’s one thing to talk about it in preseason and a whole other thing to get in the season and do it. With the kids we have though, this doesn’t surprise me. I felt like if they would take on the schemes we have and be able to adjust to those, we would have a chance to be successful.”

The win also sets up a showdown with No.7 Daleville in Brundidge next week. A win for the Bulldogs in that game would clinch a region championship.

Stephenson said next week’s game is big not just for his team but for the entire Brundidge community.

“The region championship has been won there a number of times, and that’s something they’ve come to expect,” Stephenson said. “We want to play for those championships, and I’m happy to be in this position. I’m also glad that it’s in Brundidge.

Pike County and Daleville play for the region championship next Friday at 7 p.m. within the confines of Bulldog Stadium.