PLAS READY: Patriots preparing for more physical play Friday night when playing Monroe Academy
Published 3:00 am Thursday, September 3, 2015
The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots look to begin their 2015 region schedule with a 2-0 record Friday night when they travel to Monroeville to take on the Monroe Academy Volunteers.
After last week’s impressive home debut against Hooper Academy, Patriot head coach Gene Allen said the Patriots will be going up against one of the premier teams within the region.
“We are trying to correct some mistakes that we made last week. We made some mistakes in the first game that we need to correct,” Allen said. “Monroe year-in and year-out has a really good football team and this year is no different. They are still really good, they are big and love to run the football.”
After opening up the season at home last week in front of raucous crowd at Delaney Kervin Stadium, the Patriots have the challenge of taking their game on the road in a tough environment.
“I hope a lot of the people that were her last week will come down to Monroe,” Allen said. “It is tough to play Monroe anywhere, so it will be really tough to play them down there.”
The first road game of the year will offer the Patriots an extra challenge compared to other away games further into the season.
“It is always a little different. The players have to get used to going on the road,” Allen said. “You are always going to have your worries going on the road, especially early.”
Monroe will offer a tough test to the Patriots. The Volunteers will offer a heavy running attack that features a big offensive line with two members who very well could be playing college football at the Division 1 level next fall.
“They are going to run the ball. They have two Division 1 offensive lineman and they have a young quarterback,” Allen said. “They are going to try and run the ball in between the tackles. We are going to have to keep our guys from getting knocked off the ball.”
The Patriots have been focusing on physicality this week.
“This week we need to do a lot of physical stuff and making sure that we stay low,” Allen said. “When you have two or three players that are banged up a little bit than you have to be careful, because you don’t want anybody else to get hurt either.”
Along with getting more physical during practice this week, the Patriots will spend a lot of time working on their special teams. Last week the Patriots made just one of their five extra point attempts.
“We were terrible in special teams last week,” Allen said. “We have a lot of improvements we need to make. Those are big things because special teams give you field position or you can get beat if you don’t cover a kick or a punt.”
Allen believes that game will largely be decided at the line of scrimmage. The Patriots will have to be physical on both sides of the ball if they want to control the line of scrimmage on Friday night.
“We have to win the war up front. Our offensive and defensive lines are going to have to play really well,” Allen said. “The game will basically be won there.”
Friday night will give the Patriots the opportunity to not only pick up their second win of the season but both wins would be conference wins that would set PLAS up nicely for the remainder of the season.
“We are trying to get into the playoffs and obviously you need to win region games to get there,” Allen said. “That would be big to be 2-0. It’s a game where everybody expects Monroe to beat us. It’s a game where we need to go down there and be ready to play.”
Kick off between the Patriots and Volunteers is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday in Monroeville.