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Patriots battle with Volunteers

Tonight, two AISA state champions from the 2009 season will meet in a region battle for a chance to get the upper hand in the current season.

The Patriots of Pike Liberal Arts, who won the AISA AAA Region 1 state championship, will hit the road to take on the Volunteers of Monroe Academy, who won the AISA AA Region 2 state championship.

Thanks to region realignment, only one team can win the championship this season, with the winner taking a big step tonight.

“We are taking it like any other game,” PLAS head coach Steven Kilcrease said about the matchup with the new comers to AAA Region 1.

“They are a very talented team that has had a lot of success in the past. We are preparing for what we expect to be a very physical game.”

Leading the way for the 2-0 Volunteers is quarterback Dustin Ellison and running back Sam Vermilyea.

Vermilyea, who has run the 40-yard dash in a time of 4.2 seconds, ran for 1,000 yards the past two seasons.

“Both (Ellison and Vermilyea) are extremely impressive,” Kilcrease said.

“Plus, they are huge up front. So, defensively, we are going to have to be ready to for whatever they throw at us and be ready to make adjustments.”

As he has for the first two games, Blake Floyd will get the start for PLAS.

“We had one of the best weeks of practice all season this week,” the coach said.

“This is going to be one of those four quarter games, which is something our starters have been a part of all season long, so we have been preparing for that.

“But we are feeling pretty good,” the coach added.

The Patriots and the Volunteers will kickoff at 7 p.m. tomorrow in Monroeville.