Trojans, Bulldogs will write another chapter of storied rivalry tonight in Brundidge

Published 10:05 pm Thursday, August 21, 2014

It’s just nine miles of four-lane highway. That stretch of blacktop, a couple of hay fields and Whitewater Creek are all that physically separates Brundidge from Troy.

But as far as football goes, the two rivals are opposite sides of the globe.

Pike County, located in Brundidge, has the tradition and the trophies to back up its claim as the best football program in the area.

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The Bulldogs have won five state titles, tied for seventh most in state history, but haven’t beaten their neighbors to the north in over half a decade.

Pike County quarterback Jerrel Lawson wants that to come to an end Friday night.

“Charles Henderson is always good,” Lawson said. “They beat us pretty bad last year, but this is 2014. It is a new year. We have worked hard to get better. This year is our turn to dish it out.”

Charles Henderson and Pike County first met way back in 1947. The first game resulted in a 13-0 win for the Dawgs.

However, the Trojans would win 21 consecutive games from 1963-1982, following a long hiatus in the rivalry. In recent seasons, Charles Henderson has risen to near the top of the football world. The Trojans are 23-5 in the last two seasons. During the same time frame, Pike County is just 10-12.

Despite the recent separation in the programs, many feel this year’s game will be on of the better contests in recent memory.

Charles Henderson quarterback Austin Ingram agrees.

“We have heard Pike County is a really good football team, I have no doubt they are,” Ingram said. “We played them last year, and saw first hand how athletic they are. They are another year more experienced, and we know that we have to play well Friday to get another win.”

While just a scrimmage, the game means quite a bit to everyone involved.

Pike County head coach Fred Holland has been a part of nearly every Pike County-Charles Henderson game since 1985.

He is a Brundidge boy through and through, and always wants to get a leg up on the Trojans.

“This game is huge for everybody,” Holland said. “It means a lot to me, it means a lot to our guys and it means a lot to the folks that live here in Brundidge. It doesn’t count on wins and losses, but make no doubt it, we want to win this game.”

Charles Henderson’s Brad McCoy is getting his first taste of the rivalry Friday night. Despite being new to the game, McCoy said he has heard plenty of stories about what the series means to the townsfolk.

“We are preparing for this game like we would for any other,” McCoy said. “This game means a lot to a lot of folks, and we want to represent Charles Henderson the best we can. And that means playing well for four quarters Friday night and doing our best to beat those boys from Brundidge.”

The Pike County Classic is set for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Bulldog Stadium in Brundidge.