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Bulldogs host the Panthers

The Pike County Bulldogs are in rare territory heading into Friday night’s game with region foe Southside Selma at Bulldogs Stadium.

The Bulldogs (2-1, 1-1) fell to Montgomery last Friday night 31-7. It was the Bulldogs’ first region loss since the 2015 regular season finale against then-region-foe Daleville.

The Bulldogs are eager to turn the page and start another winning streak beginning this evening.

“We don’t have a choice,” said Bulldogs head coach Fred Holland. “Hopefully, the work we have put in this week will allow us to have a better showing this week. That game is gone; there is nothing you can do about it. I told the guys Friday night that it was in the books, but you can come out and play a whole lot better than we did.”

The Bulldogs shot themselves in the foot last week, a problem that started against Elba. The Bulldogs allowed big plays, and when the offense had production, they were called back due to penalties. This week, they focused on cleaning up those mistakes.

“We have to have better execution,” Holland said. “We had pretty good drives and all of a sudden, they would stall because of a penalty. We gave up a couple of big pass plays defensively that kind of hurt us. We have to learn not to give up big plays that set up big drives. Those are the things that we have been working on.”

The loss put the Bulldogs in uncharted waters, but it hasn’t been difficult to get the players’ focus on Southside Selma.

“It’s not that hard. We realize that we have to win,” Holland said. “We have a region opponent coming in. We just have to take things step by step and try to improve some things.”

It will be another tough challenge this week against the 2-1 Southside Selma Panthers. After falling to Selma in week one 52-6, the Panthers have rattled off two close wins against Prattville Christian and Beulah to start 2-0 in region play.

“We did quite well against them last year,” Holland said. “They have a lot of seniors this year. They are very explosive passing the ball. Right now they are 2-0 in the region. We have to do some things to prevent them from going 3-0.”

The Bulldogs entered the season as the favorite to win the region. After three games, it’s Montgomery Academy and Southside Selma that sit at the top.

“Our job is trying to prevent Southside from going 3-0,” Holland said. “I feel like if we come out victorious on Friday, that we will be right back in the region again.”

The Bulldogs knocked off the Panthers 49-6 in 2016.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Bulldogs Stadium.