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Bulldogs happy to be home

The Pike County Bulldogs return home for the first time since October 6 this evening to take on Mobile Christian in the opening round of the Class 3A state playoffs.

The Bulldogs finished the regular season with an 8-2 overall and a 5-1 record play in region play to earn a number two seed in the playoffs.

“We have been getting ready for the first round,” said head coach Fred Holland. “We have a tough opponent in Mobile Christian. Our guys are taking it day by day and we are trying to get better.”

The Bulldogs played five of their first six games at the friendly confines of Bulldog Stadium this season, but closed out the season with their final four games being on the road.

“It’s exciting to come home after a long road trip,” Holland said. “We are able to spend a little more time preparing and not having to worry about preparing for the road. Our fans are able to come out and see us play.”

The Bulldogs went 3-1 during their final road trip and 4-1 overall this season. Holland believes those road challenges will help prepare them for the playoffs.

“It’s very positive,” Holland said. “You learn a lot about playing on the road. Some things happen that are sometimes out of your control. You learn a lot being able to compete when facing adversity. Our guys were able to see some of that on the road and I can definitely tell you it helped us.��

The Bulldogs got a little extra boost on the road when injured quarterback Jaidyn Wilson made his return to the lineup.

“It’s been very important,” Holland said. “He has come back and he has steadily improved. He is a worker and as he continues to improve and gain strength, then I think he will be fine.”

The Leopards made it all the way to the state championship in Auburn a year ago before falling to Piedmont.

This season Mobile Christian is entering the postseason as a three-seed after going 7-3 overall and 5-2 in Region 1 play.

“They are a very tough opponent,” Holland said. “They played in the championship last year. They do a good job at throwing the ball and they have some good running backs. They definitely have some skill guys on the outside that can go get the ball. They pose a lot of challenges. This time of the year it’s all about playing well on Friday night. It’s going to boil down to who wants it the most.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.