Undefeated Patriots gearing up for Northside

Published 7:14 pm Wednesday, September 5, 2018

After an undefeated start to the season, the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots shift their attention to Northside Methodist in the regional opener on Friday night in Dothan.

“Like we told them last week, it was good to win the first three, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot if you don’t win region games,” said head coach Gene Allen. “We have to get our concentration back, correct some little things and get ready to play our first region game. We hope to be 1-0 in region play after Friday.”

The Patriots (3-0) are coming off a 41-28 win over Freeport last Friday night in Florida.

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“I thought we played pretty good last week considering we made really the first long road trip of the year,” Allen said. “Then you’re playing an unknown really by playing a school that nobody knew anything about. I thought in the first quarter we weren’t really playing up to par, but we kind of picked it up after that.”

The Patriots have featured three different quarterbacks in every game this season and that continued Friday night. Senior Jade Sikes, junior Davis Allen and freshman Drew Nelson all got in at quarterback.

Sikes stole the show when he rushed for over 100 yards and scored three touchdowns while throwing for another.

“He played really well,” Allen said. “He ran the ball extremely well. He threw the ball really good. A couple of balls were dropped and one was right on the sideline and it was ruled out of bounds. He played an excellent ball game. Hopefully we can get that week in and week out from him because he has the ability to do that.”

This week the Patriots head to Dothan to take on an 0-3 a Knight team that has been competitive in all three losses. Two of their losses came by one point against Edgewood Academy and Abbeville Christian. Last week, the Knights fell at home to Lakeside 34-26 in overtime.

“They have lost three games by a total of 10 points,” Allen said. “They very easily could be 3-0 right now. It’s going to be a big challenge for us. We don’t want our kids to look ahead and think they are going to be easy because they haven’t won. They have a really good football team. We are going to have to be prepared and ready to play.”

After scoring just 18 points over the course of the first two games, the Knights scored 26 in their loss last week. On defense, the Knights have allowed 54 points in their first three games.

“They will run spread but they also get in the I and do some stuff,” Allen said. “Defensively they have changed a little bit. They’re a little more 4-3 and they are getting a little better each week too.”

The Knights enter this season under first-year head coach Jason Hurst. They entered the season with nearly 60 players on the roster.

“I think they are getting to know each other,” Allen said. “They are doing some good things.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the former home of Ashford Academy.