Patriots no match for Vols in second meeting
Published 11:05 pm Friday, November 12, 2010
For the second time this season the Patriots of Pike Liberal Arts traveled down to Monroeville to face the Volunteers of Monroe Academy.
And for the second time this season PLAS left Volunteer Field with a loss.
This one coming in the form of 37-7 which ended the Patriots playoff run and more importantly put to rest a chance at a third straight state title.
As the game opened, PLAS went on a promising 11:42 drive, taking up virtually all of the first quarter.
That drive ended on a fourth and goal run short of the end zone.
Monroe Academy responded with a 78-yard touchdown run just a few minutes into the second quarter.
PLAS would get the ball back just to have it intercepted on the seven-yard line.
The Patriots defense stood tall though as they forced Monroe Academy into three-straight penalties, only allowing a field goal, which put the home team up 10-0.
PLAS would have a few more drives in the first half but could not convert on any of them.
In their final drive of the half, starting on the 26-yard line, quarterback Blake Floyd connected with running back Taylor Stephens for two big catches one of 20 yards and the other more than 40.
Unfortunately, the clock ran out as Stephens was trying to dodge defenders and reach the end zone.
PLAS would go into half time down 17-0 looking to build off their final drive of the first half.
PLAS ran a total of thirty four plays on five drives with eight first downs.
Running back Nick McLaughlin led the first half with 48 rushing yards.
Monroe Academy would open up the second half with a fumble on the first play of the drive picked up by the Patriots.
The PLAS offense came out in the second half passing, as head coach Steven Kilcrease said, “We had to switch it up, we had success with it early.”
PLAS would drive down the field all the way to the 28-yard line until a Volunteer defender knocked the ball loose and recovered the fumble.
Fortunately, the PLAS defense stood tall once again and did not allow a score.
PLAS would answer back with a seven play, 63-yard drive ending with a 37-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ashton Davis, who was hurt previously in the game, cutting the lead to 17-7.
But that’s as close as the Patriots would get.
Monroe did not get the chance to answer back as the PLAS defense got another huge stop.
PLAS could not capitalize on any of their final drives.
Monroe on the other hand would score three more times, finishing the game with a 37-7 victory.
After the game Kilcrease said, “We moved the ball like we did all year, we just ran into a stalemate and could not punch it in. We could not afford to make mistakes against this team.”
As for next year’s outlook Kilcrease was reminiscent but optimistic.
“I hate to see the seniors go, we are extremely proud of them and they had a great season. We have about 16 or 17 returning juniors to lead us next year. It all starts in the weight room.”