Pike County looks to start fresh Friday night in their first-round playoff duel with Fultondale

Published 3:00 am Friday, November 7, 2014

By Sean Holohan

Every coach would like their team to enter the playoffs riding the momentum of a big win.

But for Pike County, last week’s 47-6 drubbing at the hands of Washington County did not provide the Bulldogs that luxury.

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Despite the loss, though, Pike County head coach Fred Holland said his team is in high spirits one day out from their first-round playoff game against Fultondale.

“We’ve been in a pretty good mood,” Holland said. “We realized we didn’t play as well as we should have. Not only that, but this week gave us an opportunity to get better at some of the things that we didn’t do that well last week. Being in the playoffs is very inspirational to the kids. They have a lot of pride in what they do.”

Luckily for Pike County (6-3, 4-2), Friday’s playoff matchup will provide the team a fresh start.

As the Bulldogs turn their attention to Fultondale (6-4, 4-2), Holland said the team speed of the Wildcats is what concerns him the most in the matchup.

“They possess a lot of speed,” Holland said. “They have guys that can really take it the distance. They are a very well coached team. They do a lot of things offensively to try and get those guys in space to make plays for them.”

The speed of Fultondale will certainly test the discipline and tackling of the Pike County defense. The Wildcats have been able to put up points in bunches this season, but in the process have given big scores to opposing offenses as well.

Holland said his team will have to rely on their instincts and possess the ball for long periods of time if they want to avoid a shoot out.

“You just have to do your job defensively as far as staying in your lane and knowing who they want to get the ball to,” Holland said. “We have to really pound the ball on them and attack that 5-2 defense that they play in.”

Though the Bulldogs are not entering the playoffs in their ideal scenario, they will however be playing at home.

Holland said having home-field advantage in the first round is an immeasurable advantage and can possibly make the difference in who ultimately wins the game Friday night.

“It’s extremely good,” Holland said.” You can spend more time working on your game plan and even work with backups. Playing at home gives you so many advantages.”