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Patriots end season with playoff loss to the Knights

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots had their season come to a close on Friday night when they fell to the Tuscaloosa Academy Knights 28-6 in the opening round of the AISA AAA state playoffs.

The loss for the Patriots drops their overall record on the season to 7-5. Friday night’s loss is the Patriots second straight opening round loss. They fell to Lee-Scott Academy 42-0 last season.

After going on a three-game winning streak from September 29 to October 13, the Patriots finished the season losing their last three games.

The game was competitive throughout the first half. After both teams were held scoreless after one quarter of play, The Knights got on the board with a 10-yard touchdown run to go up 7-0 on the first play of the second quarter.

The game remained at 7-0 heading into halftime until the Knights added to their lead with two more touchdowns in the third to go up 21-0. Both the scores came on the ground, including one from 37 yards.

The Knights scored their last touchdown of the night from 85 yards out to give them a comfortable 28-0 lead.

The Patriots finally got on the board in the fourth quarter when quarterback Reed Jinright called his own number and scored from 3 yards out to bring the score to 28-6 after a failed extra point attempt.

The Patriots outgained the Knights 315-294, but it was the penalties that hurt Pike on Friday night. Overall Pike had 11 penalties for a total of 112 yards compared to five penalties for 35 yards by the Knights.

Reed Jinright completed 7 of his 20 passes for 113 yards. Jinright also found success on the ground as well by rushing for 156 yards on 20 carries. Brother Wood Jinright picked up 45 yards on five carries.

Jade Sikes caught all five balls that were thrown his way for a total of 85 yards. Reed Johnson also had two catches for 28 yards.

On the defensive side of the Cody Hollis led the team in tackles with six, while Wood Jinright had five.