PCHS knocks off Geneva, locks up playoff spot

Published 11:40 pm Friday, October 18, 2013

Pike County used a big night from its offensive line and running back Lamarcus Adair to power past the Geneva Panthers to win 35-14 on homecoming night and clinch a playoff spot.

The Panther defense was no match for the physical running of Lamarcus Adair who tore up Geneva for 232 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries.

The game started as somewhat of a defensive battle with both Geneva and Pike County going three-and-out on their opening possessions. Momentum swung toward the Bulldogs when Chris Adair recovered a Geneva fumble to set up the Bulldogs at the Panther 39-yard line.

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Chris’ big brother Lamarcus then took over and ran the ball on all five plays of the Bulldogs’ drive before punching the ball in from seven yards out to give Pike County an early 6-0 lead.

The Bulldog defense held strong on the Panthers’ ensuing drive. Pike County stuffed a Geneva fourth down attempt when linebacker T. J. Thompkins sacked Geneva quarterback Marcus Wilson at the Bulldog 39-yard line.

This time, Lamarcus Adair only needed two plays to find the end zone. He took the ball 51 yards on the Bulldogs’ first play and then scored on a 10-yard dive on the next play.

Quarterback Jerrell Lawson connected with Chris Adair on a play-action pass for a two-point conversion to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead.

The Pike County defense forced yet another turnover on the Panthers next possession. Lawson made a diving interception to give the Bulldogs the ball at their own 25-yard line.

The Pike County offense finally slowed down a little but still managed to put together a methodical 13 play drive that resulted in Lawson finding wide receiver Steve Smiley on a 15-yard touchdown.

Smiley caught the ball at the Panther 10 and battled through for Geneva defenders before crossing the goal line. Antonio Vaznaian added an extra point to give the Bulldogs a 21-0 lead.

Everything was going well for the Bulldogs, but that was about to change. Geneva running back Destin Hutcherson returned the ensuing kickoff 93 yards for Geneva’s first score of the night. Pike County blocked the extra point to keep the score at 21-6.

Not to be outdone by Hutcherson, Thompkins took the Geneva kickoff 57 yards to give the Bulldogs great field position at the Panther 36-yard line.

Once again, Lamarcus Adair took over and scored four plays later on a 13-yard toss. Another Vaznaian extra point gave the Bulldogs a 28-6 lead at the half.

The Bulldogs flexed their offensive muscle one last time in the first half. Pike County found the end zone in four plays on another Lamarcus Adair run. T

his time, however, it wasn’t Adair who scored. The ball squirted out of Adair’s hands at the five, but it was eventually recovered in the end zone by Anfernee Feagin.

Vaznaian added another extra point to give the Bulldogs a comfortable 35-6 lead.

Geneva found the end zone on a Wilson pass to Nihle Daniels in the third quarter to close out the scoring.

Wilson jogged for a two-point conversion on an option for a final of 35-14.

After the game, both Lamarcus Adair and head coach Fred Holland praised the offensive linemen for their performance.

“Our blocking opened up big holes for me,” Adair said. “When they do that, I make sure I hit the hole and hold on to the ball.”

“Our line doesn’t get a lot of credit for all the things they do,” Holland said. “They’re in the trenches. They do the dirty work. They come in every week and steadily work on getting better. Any time they come up against a challenge, they rise to the test.”

Adair said putting in such a great personal performance was a little more special on Homecoming night.

“It feels a lot better to have over 200 yards on Homecoming,” Adair said.

“The whole offense did a great job. We started coming off the ball harder and making the plays we needed to.”

With the win, the Bulldogs clinch a playoff spot. Depending on how Barbour County and Slocomb finish the season, Pike County can wind up anywhere from the two-seed to the four-seed.

“It means a lot to make the playoffs,” Holland said. “Our guys worked hard to get to this point. Our coaches did a great job. I have very little to do with it; it’s mainly the assistant coaches. I’m beyond pleased with what this team has done.”