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Patriots take on the Senators

A home playoff game will be on the line this Friday night when the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots host the Morgan Academy Senators on Senior Night.

Nine football seniors will be honored prior to kickoff on Friday night. In coach Gene Allen’s first year as a head coach at Pike these seniors were in the seventh grade.

“It’s tough,” Allen said. “These kids, when I got to Pike they were seventh graders and I taught them in P.E. I have been around these seniors for a long time. Its always tough to see them go. Hopefully we can send them off on a high note.

Those seniors along with the rest of the Patriots have been busy at work this week to prepare for what they hope is a big win against the Senators.

“We have had a good week of practice so far,” Allen said. “We still have some things we need to work on obviously. We feel like we have a pretty good plan we just have to go out and execute.”

The Patriots are in this situation thanks in part to last week’s dominating performance against the Hooper Colts. The Patriots won their final road region game 47-21.

“For the most part we were pretty pleased last week,” Allen said. “I thought we moved the ball pretty well offensively. We didn’t have to throw it much. We know we are going to have to do more of that this week. Defensively I thought we gave up to much on the pass. They did a really good job at getting rid of the ball quick. We have to do a better job at getting a little pressure on the quarterback.”

Coach speak always says the most important game is the next one on the schedule. This time it’s more than coach speak. The Patriots have lost just one region game to perennial power Monroe meaning there is a lot at stake in this game.

“This week is obviously a big game,” Allen said. “It’s senior night so we obviously want the seniors to go out on a high note. It’s also one of those games that if we win we get a first round playoff game. Those are a big plus for us.”

The fact that this is such a big game is not lost on the Patriot players.

“We talk about it everyday,” Allen said. “ We don’t want to travel for the first round. It could be three or four hour trip depending on whom we draw. We definitely would rather play at home and then you never know we may have the possibility of playing at home in the second round.”

The Senators have a overall record of 4-4 and are 2-2 in region play. They have traded wins and losses over the last five weeks including a 48-0 win over Northside Methodist last week.

“They are pretty tough,” Allen said. “they are predominantly spread. They will create some problems. They have a pretty good bit of speed. They have two three kids that are probably faster than anyone that have. We are going to have to contain them and not let them out.

“They know that if we beat them they are going to have to travel to play the number one team so it’s a big game for them also.”

The Patriots won a tightly contest game last season 13-6.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.