Patriots aim to take control of region against Monroe
Published 3:00 am Thursday, September 15, 2016
The Pike Patriots could take control of their region with win over Monroe Academy on Friday.
The Patriots (3-0) have defeated Clarke Prep, Abbeville Christian and Fort Dale by a combined score of 108-33. But with defending region champ Monroe coming to town, the only game that matters is this week’s.
“As we go each game gets bigger and bigger,” said Patriots head coach Gene Allen. “We are playing one of the top teams in the state over the last two years so it doesn’t get any bigger than this right now.”
The Patriots have blistered opposing defenses by scoring 108 points so far this season, and the defense has allowed just 11 points per game.
“It’s exciting,” said Patriots linebacker Tyler Hussey. “Our young guys have really stepped up, Max Copeland especially. Our big guys up front really hold down the offense to where the rest of our skill guys can make tackles in the open field.”
Monroe offers a different type of test for the Patriots. Gone are the days when they relied on the run behind an offensive line that featured two Division 1A college prospects. This season they are getting it done through the air.
“We are going to have to stop the run,” Hussey said. “They pass the ball more than they run, but if we can shut the passing game down they will resort to running the ball, and we can shut them down.”
“They are going to spread the ball out this year,” Allen said. “In the past they were more power, they had some lineman that were really big. This year they have more skill guys. They will throw the ball more than they have been throwing it.”
Both teams are 1-0 in the region, and the winner will have a key edge.
“It would be great,” Allen said. “We would be in really good shape in the region. It would put us at 2-0. Monroe has been one of the top teams over the last couple of years. They are one of the teams that expects to win. They are going to play hard from the very beginning to the very end. We are going to have to play 48 minutes and be ready to play.”
Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Dewight Ward Field.