Bulldogs continue win streak

Published 12:18 am Saturday, October 18, 2014

By Devin Smith

Pike County wide receiver Deshon Cowling (2) digs in for additional yardage during the Bulldogs win over Slocomb, 36-20 Friday night. (Troy Messenger/Joey Meredith)

Pike County wide receiver Deshon Cowling (2) digs in for additional yardage during the Bulldogs win over Slocomb, 36-20 Friday night. (Troy Messenger/Joey Meredith)

On Friday night, the Pike County Bulldogs ended homecoming week with a regional showdown against the Slocomb Redtops and were able to make enough plays down the stretch to escape with a 36-20 win.

It can be difficult to stay focused during the week of celebrations, but coach Fred Holland made sure his team never took their eyes off the Redtops.

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“We had a lot going on today, all week really,” Holland said. “I feel like the guys played well. We didn’t do so well at times, we made some mistakes but overall the kids played extremely well. They made plays when they had to and that’s what counts.”

Following a great week of practice, the Bulldogs came out and looked to take control of the game early on a four-yard TD pass from Jerrell Lawson to Kamari Jackson after forcing a Slocomb three-and-out to open the game.

Jackson would score again from 12 yards out after replacing Lawson at quarterback for the final two plays of the drive, but failed to get the two-point conversion after missing an extra point on the previous score for a 12-0 lead.

In the second quarter, the Redtops used good field position to force their way back into the game with a 32-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Jordan King to Dezmond Johnson to cut the lead to 12-7.

On the next drive, Slocomb forced Pike County into a rare three-and-out of their own to get the ball back, and used a 51-yard scramble from King to set up his four yard touchdown run a few plays later to take the lead at 14-12.

Holland wasn’t surprised that the Redtops wouldn’t go quietly, and he made sure his team was prepared for a war.

“They just made plays,” Holland said. “Their quarterback avoided some sacks; he’s a real shifty guy. We knew coming in that they were very good, and we stressed that to the players all week.”

Most key plays by the Redtops were from King, who at times single-handedly kept his team in the game. He would eclipse 100 yards both on the ground and through the air for a total of 308 yards to accompany his three scores.

““It’s tough when you play a team with a spread oriented offense and that has a quarterback who can throw it and run, that makes him a double threat,” Holland said. “We realized they had a quarterback who could do that, but we just have to make plays.”

The Bulldogs drained the majority of time remaining in the half from the clock in route to a third score before the half followed by a reverse pass for the two-point conversion and a 20-14 halftime lead.

The lone score of the third quarter almost came on the first offensive play on a pass from Lawson to Corey Batie, but during a footrace to the end zone he stumbled and fell at the two yard line, but finished the drive off from inside the five to cap off the 59 second drive and lead 28-14.

Slocomb scored again to open the fourth on a 13-yard pass from King to cut the lead down to eight, but that would be as close as the Redtops would get.

One last ditched effort to tie the game up moved them all the way to the Pike County six yard line, but after bending all game, the Bulldogs’ defense would not break and a sack from Stevie Smiley effectively ended the game.

Now with the season nearing its end, the Bulldogs have a few more hurdles to jump before the playoffs, but Holland is proud of what they have achieved thus far.

“I can’t take anything away from them, they are a very good team. We had our backs against the wall at the end and we were forced to stop them and we did,” Holland said.

“I’m proud of not only that, but for the kids being able to achieve a 6-1 record and continue winning in the region like we are.” he said.