NEW SEASON: The Pike County Bulldogs begin their playoff run when they host the Aliceville Yellow Jackets
Published 3:30 am Thursday, November 5, 2015
The Pike County Bulldogs welcome the Aliceville Yellow Jackets to Bulldogs Stadium for the first round of the Alabama Class 3A state playoffs tonight.
“We are very excited,” said Bulldogs head coach Fred Holland. “We are playing a day earlier than what we expected, but our guys are really pumped up about the game. We had some good practices, and we are eager to play.”
The first round of playoff action was moved up from Friday night to avoid the threat of inclement weather. Although coach Holland would have liked an extra day of preparation, he is confident his team will be ready to play when the lights come on at Bulldogs Stadium.
“I always enjoy the extra day of preparation,” Holland said. “At the same time regardless of the day, you have to be ready to play. I think our guys are gearing up for the game. It boils down to winning and that is what we are focusing on.”
The Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1) are looking to the seniors to lead tonight, as it’s the third year in a row the team has been in post-season play.
“Leadership is very important,” Holland said. “Our seniors understand that every game they go out and play it could be their last one. With them guiding our younger guys, it makes it easier on our coaches. Leadership is really big for us.”
The Bulldogs closed out the regular season the same way they began – with a shutout of Washington County. The Bulldogs had a five-game shutout streak at the beginning of the season, and then surrendered 42 points over three games. Now, they are looking to a dominant defense as they enter playoffs.
“Our guys have learned a lot this season about how teams attack you,” Holland said. “We really try to take away what teams do best. Our guys stress that to themselves.”
Quarterback Jerrell Lawson will be tapped as a key component of both the offense and defense.
“He is right on track when it comes to running our offense and defense,” Holland said. “He is our signal caller on both sides and he really understands his role. He comes out focused and has a positive attitude.”
Aliceville (6-4, 4-2) finished in third place in the Class 3A Region 4 standings and are entering the game having lost two out of their last three games, including a 22-8 loss to American Christian.
“They present a lot of challenges because they have a lot of speed,” Holland said. “They are a big, strong, physical football team.”
The Bulldogs won their last meeting in 2007 26-14 and hold the overall advantage by winning all three previous contests with the Yellow Jackets.
Kick off between the Yellow Jackets and Bulldogs is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Bulldogs Stadium in Brundidge with the winner advancing to play the winner of Central Coosa and T.R. Miller.