Dawgs chomping at the bit for home playoff game

Published 10:24 pm Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Pike County Bulldogs head in to their game against the Slocomb Red Tops looking to secure the third seed in the AHSAA playoffs.

The Bulldogs secured a playoff berth last week in their 35-14 win over Geneva.

Head coach Fred Holland praised his offense for their performance last week. “We did a good job on the offensive side of the football,” Holland said. “Our running and blocking was good. The offensive line continues to improve. I can’t say enough about how our coaches work them.”

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Barbour County, Pike County and Slocomb are all locked in to the playoffs with 4-2 region records. A win against Slocomb will give the Bulldogs the third seed. A Slocomb win will give the Red Tops the second seed, while the Bulldogs will fall to the fourth seed.

Nobody wants to fall to fourth. The team finishing fourth in Region 2 will play fifth-ranked Trinity Presbyterian in the playoffs.

Holland has made sure his players understand the importance of Friday night’s game. “Our boys know the next two games are important,” Holland said. “We think it will be a playoff atmosphere these next two weeks. All of us are in the playoffs. It’s a big region game, but we look forward to each game.”

Despite the significance of the game, Holland said he has not changed his practice philosophies. “We’re still trying to get better running the ball,” Holland said. “We’re focusing on the fundamentals—blocking and tackling. If you do those well, you will win a lot of ball games.”

It has been a strong turnaround for the Bulldogs in Holland’s second full season. Pike County fell two 0-2 in the region after losing to Barbour County and Dale County.

Since then the Bulldogs have ripped off four straight region wins. Holland credited the turnaround to his players. “I can’t say enough about how hard the kids work,” Holland said. “They come out every day and are dedicated to the team. Our coaches have been teaching and working with the kids all season.”

Last year, Slocomb beat Pike County 28-23 in Brundidge.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Red Top Stadium in Slocomb.