Homecoming: Pike aims to get back on track against Gators

Published 3:00 am Thursday, September 29, 2016

After two consecutive losses, the Pike Patriots look to right the ship on Friday when they host Glenwood for homecoming.

“It’s homecoming week,” said Patriots head coach Gene Allen. “They are ready to get back on track. Nobody likes to lose during homecoming.”

After starting the season 3-0, the Patriots lost to Monroe and Autauga.

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“We have to get back to where we were,” Allen said. “We lost to two pretty good football teams. I think the kids realize we had a chance to win both of them.”

During the last two weeks the Patriots have allowed 624 yards on the ground.

“We have made some changes,” Allen said. “We just have to tackle better. We haven’t tackled very well the last couple of weeks. We worked a lot on that on Monday and Tuesday and hopefully we will be better with that.”

The Patriots offense has seen improvements in its running game. JT Ball has rushed for 238 yards in the past three games. The passing game is also improving. Quarterback Reed Jinright completed six of 16 passes last week for 108 yards and a touchdown.

“He is doing good,” Allen said. “Our MO has been running the football. In the last couple weeks he has had to throw some and our receivers have done a good job … Reed is a good enough athlete to where he can get himself out of trouble. He is throwing the ball better, and he is getting better every week.”

The Gators come to Troy with a 4-1 record after losing last week to Morgan Academy 34-6. They have averaged 24 points per game thanks in large part to their spread offense.

“We figure they are going to try and run the ball on us,” Allen said. “We have to stop the run first. They have been throwing the ball half the time, they have some really good skill guys.”

The Gators have surrendered an average of 25 points per game, but that number rises to 34 in the last three games.

“Defensively they are going to put everybody in the box and try to stop us,” Allen said. “They are going to try and stop the run.”

The Patriots are 1-1 in the region, one of five teams with a win. A strong region finish could give PLAS the edge going into playoffs.

“We feel like if we come out and do what we are supposed to do then we have a chance of being in Troy,” Allen said. “That is our goal every year … We feel like have a team that is capable of doing that.”

Kickoff is 7 p.m. Friday.