Patriots ready for season

Published 3:00 am Friday, August 14, 2015

Pike Liberal Arts Patriot head coach Gene Allen and the coaching staff is hopeful that the 2105 season will be one to remember for the fans of PLAS.

There are just two weeks remaining until the start of the regular season for the Patriots, and Allen knows there is still plenty of room for improvement.

“It’s been going good, but we still have a lot of work to do. We need to do more on defense and special teams,” Allen said. “We have a good idea of who will be playing where this season. The thing we have to do now is just get a lot of reps in.”

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The Patriots closed out practice on Thursday afternoon doing just that. After running several reps of just offense, Allen put the offense against the defensive backs for the practice’s final half hour.

With a lot of the position battles sown up, Allen and the coaching staff want to be able put in a lot of players and be able to switch them out throughout the game, so getting comfortable with the playbook and taking plenty of reps is essential.

“We are going to play a lot of guys, and we are going to sub in and out a lot,” Allen said. “A lot of them play defense, we probably have two groups that we know will be out there. They are taking most of the reps right now. It’s about getting more reps and getting better.”

Last season with quarterbacks Drew Starling, and Rush Hixon the Patriots were more of a run first offense. This season thanks to more speed and athleticism, Allen will lean on the passing game.

“We are going to do a lot of quick passes, and speed sweeps just little stuff like that to utilize our speed,” Allen said. “We feel like that is probably the strength of our team.”

On the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots will feature a 3-4-defense with three down lineman and four linebackers. That defense will require the Patriots to play sound and fundamental defense.

“We are going to fill the gaps and everybody has to do their jobs. If they’re not there, that’s when big plays happen. We are going to have to get our coverages right. We are going to have to work a lot more on that. Starting next week we are going to be doing a lot of defense and special teams.”

The Patriots will not have a scrimmage game this season and will open the season Aug. 28 against the Hooper Colts.