Pike Liberal Arts wins season finale at Ashford

Published 12:33 am Saturday, November 2, 2013

What had been a long season for the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots (2-8) had a happy conclusion with a 34-6 victory over the Ashford Academy Falcons in Ashford on Friday night.

The win marked the first victory for the Patriots away from home, and their third victory in their past 20 games.

With the win, the season ends for the Patriots as they did not qualify for the AISA AAA playoffs.

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It was one of the more complete games of the season for the Patriots. The Patriots dominated the game throughout.

The win also avenged a 48-0 defeat that the Patriots suffered against Ashford last year in Troy.

The victory closes out a season that had seen more downs than ups for the Patriots.

The Patriots were forced to deal with a rash of injuries to starters on both offense and defense.

Starting quarterback Rush Hixon was lost early in the season for the year with a torn labrum.

Starting running back Blake Cumbie also missed most of the season with an injury.

Senior linebacker and quarterback Brian Adams also missed time due to injury.

At one point in the season, the Patriots were only able to field 15 varsity players because of injury.

Though the season was disappointing from a win-loss perspective, it did allow for young players to see playing time and develop on the field.

In an interview earlier in the week, head coach Gene Allen said he was proud of his team. “I have nothing but positive things to say about the work that this team has put in this season,” Allen said. “We were unlucky with the injury bug, but that happens in football. Obviously, things didn’t turn out the way that we wanted this year, but a lot of young kids got to see playing time they wouldn’t have seen other wise, especially on the defensive side of the ball.”

With the experience gained from this year, Allen and the Patriots will look to retool and make a run in the playoffs next season.