Patriots declaw Panthers

Published 12:06 am Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pike Liberal Arts School's Taytom Barnes (37) fights off Tuscaloosa Academy's Clay Thomas (5) while running the ball during the Patriots' 33-7 win over the Knights. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

For the second time this season the Patriots of Pike Liberal Arts School traveled to Prattville Christian Academy to take on the Panthers.

And as they did a little over a month ago, the Patriots returned home with a victory, this time under the pressure of the playoffs, winning 16-34.

The tone of the game was kicked off by an impressive goal line stand by the Patriots.

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And while the first quarter ended with no score, that would not be the case in the second as PLAS took over.

Returning from injury, running back Nick McLaughlin would put his team on top first, thanks to a sweep toss that was able to turn into a 72-yard touchdown run down the sideline putting PLAS up 7-0 with 9:56 left to go in the second quarter.

Once again the PLAS defense would hold PAC to a field goal attempt that was no good.

On the next drive PLAS, the team in red and white would drive 80 yards, bolstered by a 50-yard pass from quarterback Blake Floyd to wide receiver Kyle Boswell, followed by another touchdown run by McLaughlin, this time from 15 yards out, putting the Patriots up by 14 with 4:26 left in the half.

Towards the end of the half defensive back Martin Meeks grabbed an interception to put the ball back in the offenses hands, however, PLAS would choose to run the clock out to end the half, with the 14-0 lead.

PLAS would open up the second half with a four-play drive, resulting in a 64-yard touchdown run by McLaughlin, his third of the game, to give his team a commanding lead.

That was the only score for the third quarter as both teams exchanged defensive stands.

PLAS would have another, clock killing, 80-yard drive.

There was not a single pass thrown on the drive, which was capped off by a Floyd quarterback sneak with 7:41 left in the fourth quarter to put PLAS up 27-0.

On the ensuing defensive stand, Floyd would help his own cause, by picking off a pass. Unfortunately PLAS would let PAC back into the game late in the fourth as running back J.J. Hudson caught a pass with 3:44 left to bring the score to 27-8.

No worries for PLAS though because on the next drive wide receiver Evan Strother would catch a 50-yard touchdown pass, as he was not even covered on the field when the ball was snapped, to put the Patriots up 34-8 with 3:27 left in the game.

PCA would respond back with another touchdown pass, this time to wide receiver Josh Jones.

That would be the last score of the game.

As time expired McLaughlin ended the night with 201 yards rushing with three touchdowns on just 15 carries.

Both Boswell and Meeks had over 50 yards receiving, each with a touchdown catch.

Floyd finished with a 128-yard passing performance adding two touchdowns, along with a rushing touchdown and an interception on defense.

Coach Steven Kilcrease said after the game, “We were concerned coming in, their physical, but we broke early. Our defense stood strong, especially with the huge stop to begin the game.”

As for next week, the Patriots will travel down to battle a tough and talented Monroe team, another well-known opponent.

“Were looking for another chance at Monroe next week,” the coach added. “We just have to work on tackling and staying on our blocks this week to get ready.”