Patriots need a win and some help for playoffs
Published 3:30 am Thursday, October 22, 2015
A win against Fort Dale on Friday and some outside help could salvage playoff hopes for the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots.
The Patriots (1-4, 4-4) currently sit in fifth place in the AISA 3A region 2 standings. The top four teams are guaranteed a spot. The Patriots would need a win over Fort Dale and a loss by Morgan Academy to force a three-way tie for the final playoff spot. A tiebreaker scenario then would come into play.
“It’s the next game up,” said Patriots head coach Gene Allen. “We still have a slim chance of making the playoffs. We need some help.”
Fort Dale (2-3, 5-3) is one of the teams the Patriots are hoping to tie in the battle for the playoff berth.
“Fort Dale is a big rival for us,” Allen said. “It’s a rival game. We need to come out and play. We are going to try and get the win and hope someone helps us out.”
Allen hopes the rivalry between the Patriots and the Eagles adds a little more fuel to the fire for his players.
“Anytime you play in a rivalry game it helps,” Allen said. “We have always had a good rivalry. I am expecting our guys to come out and give a good effort. We have some guys injured right now (so) we just have to have some guys step up and play.”
Last week the Patriots struggled stopping Escambia Academy’s running attack, in particular Kris Brown. Although the Eagles don’t have a super back like a Brown, they do offer up some challenges to the Patriots.
“They don’t have anybody like him,” Allen said. “They are a different football team. They will run more read-option type stuff. They have been running the same type of stuff for years, so they are pretty good at what they do.”
The Eagles enter this game winning four out of their last five games, including a 28-20 win last week over Morgan Academy. Their only loss during that five game span came two weeks ago when they fell to undefeated Monroe Academy 34-3.
The Eagles have averaged 22 points per game thus far this season and have allowed 21 points per game.
The Patriot defense has struggled a bit in the last three games allowing a total of 119 points. Even though it may not have shown it on the scoreboard a week ago against Escambia Academy the defense continued to make strides.
“We played good defensively last week,” Allen said. “The score looked terrible but for the most part we did a good job stopping (Brown). He had a couple big plays, but for the most part we played pretty decent.”
Along with getting a win against Fort Dale, the Patriots will need help from winless Hooper Academy who will need to defeat Morgan Academy to open a spot for the Patriots. The Patriots know the job at hand is to win their game first and foremost and that is what they are focusing on.
“We just have to go out and win,” Allen said. “It’s a region game and a pressure game so we have to go out and see if we can get another region win. If we don’t win we are not going to be in. We have to win to have a chance.”
Kick off between The Patriots and Eagles is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Fort Dale Stadium.