Patriots hope to clinch playoffs against Morgan

Published 3:00 am Friday, October 21, 2016

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots hit the road to Selma tonight to take on the Morgan Academy with a spot in the playoffs on the line.

The Patriots (5-3, 2-2) face a must win game against a Senator team that is trying to knock them out of post season contention in the final region game of the season.

“We have had a good week of practice,” said Patriots head coach Gene Allen. “We know it’s a must win game and that the winner of this game will be in the playoffs. We need to come in and take care of business.”

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Allen said coaches have worked to keep players focused this week.

“We are not trying to put any extra pressure on them,” Allen said. “We are trying to get better at what we do and continue to get better every week.” Morgan (5-4, 1-3) has lost their last two games to Northside Methodist and Fort Dale, but before that they won three consecutive games. The Senators bring a run-heavy offense. “They are going to run the football,” Allen said. “They have some quick backs. They don’t have big lineman, but they try to run at people.”

On defense, the Patriots expect the Senators to load up the box and attempt to shut down the running attack led by JT Ball.

“I feel like we should be able to handle them up front,” Allen said. “Their defensive line is going to be smaller, but they are going to be quick. We are going to have to stay on our blocks.”

The Patriots have lost 10 of the 14 meetings with the Senators including last year’s 21-13 loss. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Senator Field in Selma.