Pike County looks to keep their postseason going when they square off with Gordo Friday

Published 3:00 am Friday, November 14, 2014

messenger Photo/joey meredith Pike County’s Deshon Cowling eludes a Luverne defender in the Bulldogs’ matchup with the Tigers on Oct. 3.

messenger Photo/joey meredith
Pike County’s Deshon Cowling eludes a Luverne defender in the Bulldogs’ matchup with the Tigers on Oct. 3.

By Sean Holohan

Autumn. So akin to playoff football.

Much like the temperature in Alabama, the number of high school football teams still playing in mid-November is dropping every week.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Pike County is one of those few teams still standing in Class 3A.

And as the leaves continue to fall, so too will another team Friday night when the Bulldogs travel to face Gordo in a second-round playoff battle.

The temperature at kickoff — which is forecasted to be around 38 degrees — is sure to be the coldest either team has experienced all year, but Pike County head coach Fred Holland is confident that won’t affect the way his team plays Friday.

“I think it will probably be one of the coldest games we’ve played this year,” Holland said. “I hope our guys will understand the importance of the game and not the weather. I don’t think it will play that big of a factor.”

What should be much more of a concern for Pike County is the way Gordo has dispatched of its opponents up to this point in the season.

The Green Wave will enter Friday’s game with an undefeated 11-0 record after defeating Greene County last week 47-14.

In that game, sophomore Collin Herring alone had one receiving touchdown, one rushing touchdown, 11 tackles and one interception for Gordo.

Holland said the Green Wave do very few things wrong and finding a weakness would be difficult.

“They are a very good team,” Holland said. “They have done quite well this season. They score a lot of points; they play pretty good defense, great offensive team. We have our work cut out for us trying to exploit their weaknesses and they don’t have many.”

But coming off of a dominant 41-16 win of their own last week against Fultondale, Pike County is riding high. Holland said his team showed massive improvement from their 47-6 loss to cap the regular season and proved they could execute in the playoffs where points and possessions come at a premium.

“A win always helps,” Holland said. “When our guys see how tough they (Gordo) are, we have played a pretty tough schedule. So we realize how tough it will be down there Going to someone else’s place. I think we executed a little bit better (last week). I think we had opportunities earlier in the year, but I think we just failed to execute on certain things and I think we have done a better job of executing and it showed.”

And for Pike County, continuing to execute and take care of the football will be most important if the Bulldogs want to keep playing football, said Holland.

But playing sound defense will be equally important. And against a Gordo offense that has scored at least 40 points in the last three weeks, the Bulldogs’ margin of error is razor thin.

“(We need to)Stop them for one thing, but that will be a tall task for us,” Holland said. “Trying to stop some of the things they do because they do a number of things that allows them to score points on people. They can really score some points.”

And as the temperatures continue to fall and teams bow out each week leaving room for one champion, Pike County’s senior class has remained vocal. Because at this point in the season, any game could be the last.

“They have been very active about that, they talk a lot about continue to play,” Holland said. “Of course they know every night they go out there it could be the very last game they play in a high school uniform in football, so they realize it and I think they keep it in mind.”