Patriots close out regular season with loss
Published 3:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2016
The Pike Patriots fell to the Lee Scott Academy Warriors on Friday night 21-14 in a preview of next week’s opening round playoff game in the AISA Class 3A State Playoffs.
The Patriots (6-4, 3-2) knew they had their hands full on Friday night against a physical Warrior football team.
“It’s a tough game,” said Patriots head coach Gene Allen. “It didn’t really mean a lot other than the pride factor. We didn’t show everything that we normally do. It was 28-14 and we left a couple touchdowns on the field.”
The Warriors jumped on the board first in the opening quarter after turning the Patriots over on downs on the opening drive. The Warriors took over on their own 33-yard line and marched down the field in five plays ending with a 53-yard touchdown run by quarterback Turk Petit giving the Warriors a 7-0 lead.
The Patriots evened the game up at seven on the following possession when Reed Johnson ended an eight-play scoring drive on a six-yard touchdown run with 2:15 remaining in the first quarter.
After holding the Patriots to a three and out early in the second quarter, the Warriors hit a big play on the first play of their drive when Nathan Freeman had a 63-yard touchdown run regain the lead at 14-7.
The Patriots had a chance to even the score at 14 in the final minutes of the second quarter, but their 18-play drive stalled at the five-yard line and the half ended with the Warriors holding a 14-7 lead.
“That was tough,” Allen said. “That wasn’t the first time that has happened this year. When we get down there we have to get points on the board. Penalties stopped us; we have to get better mentally.”
The Warriors came out in the second half and went down the field in 12 plays and took nearly eight minutes off the clock. The Warriors extended their lead at the end of the drive when Petit scored his second touchdown from 30-yards out to bring the score to 21-7 with 4:14 remaining in the third quarter.
The Patriots embarked on another long drive, one that lasted 12 plays. Reed Jinright dove the ball across the goal line to once again the Patriots were back to within seven points.
The Warriors leaned heavily on their running game and in the second half it made the difference. The Warriors finished with 343 yards on the ground.
“It was physical,” Allen said. “They lean on you and we have to match them physicality wise.”
The Warriors put the game out of reach in the early stages of the fourth quarter when Nathan Freeman raced down the field for a 59-yard touchdown run to bring the score to 28-14.
The Patriots finished with 321 yards of total offense compared to 343 by the Warriors. Jinright led the team in rushing with 160 yards on 23 carries and he also completed eight of his 16 passes for 41 yards. JT Ball led the Patriots in receiving yards with five catches for 21 yards. Tyler Hussey led the team in tackling with six.
The Patriots will have a chance at revenge next Friday night when they once again host the Warriors in round one of the state playoffs beginning at 7 p.m.