Bulldogs pull out narrow win against Wicksburg

Published 11:28 pm Friday, September 21, 2018

Pike County returned home following a successful two-game road trip to face the Wicksburg Panthers in regional play.

The Bulldogs outlasted the Panthers, 33-29, to earn their first home win and improve to 3-0 in regional play.

The visiting Panthers scored first after a long 10 play drive that ended on a 21-yard touchdown run by Garren Richards.

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In response to the Panthers drive, Bulldog running back Rayshawn Reynolds caught two passes. One for 19 yards and then a screen pass he took 42 yards to the house to even the score at seven in the last moments of the first quarter.

The Bulldogs continued the momentum on defense, getting a four down stop backed up in its own territory. A few plays later, Reynolds broke free for a 65 yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good, leaving the score at 13-7.

Pike County forced Wicksburg into a quick three and out, allowing lightning to strike once more. Jaidyn Wilson fielded the ensuing punt at his own 35, made a man miss, raced down the sideline and into the endzone for six. A two point conversion attempt was made but failed, giving the Bulldogs a 19-7 lead.

The Panthers were able to answer immediately, though, with another run-heavy drive that ended with a touchdown. Richards scored from 12 yards out, but actually fumbled into the endzone and fell on top of it. The made extra point cut the Bulldog lead to 19-14.

As the half neared an end, the fireworks weren’t done.

On the first play of Pike County’s next drive, Reynolds hit the corner and ran it 65 yards to the endzone. It was called back to the original line of scrimmage due to holding, though.

That didn’t matter. On the very next play, Wilson hit Darrick Myhand alone in the flat and he went 65 yards to the house. Another failed two point conversion made it 25-14.

Wicksburg’s offense remained sidelined as the Panthers coughed up the football on the kick return. The Bulldogs could do nothing with it and punted just before the half.

At halftime, the Bulldogs had 202 yards of offense led by Wilson’s 132 passing yards. For Wicksburg, 171 of its 176 total yards came on the ground. Richards led with 82 yards on just eight carries.

The Panthers hit home first out of the break. A nine-play drive featuring all run plays ended with a one-yard punch-in by Kyle Arthur to bring the score to 25-21.

On Wicksburg’s next possession, the Panthers embarked on another long, clock-melting drive. This one bled into the fourth quarter and resulted in Arthur’s second touchdown of the game. The two point conversion gave Wicksburg a 29-25 lead.

Not to be outdone, Pike County continued the bounce back flow of the game and scored its own rushing touchdown. The Bulldogs converted a two point conversion and recaptured the lead, 33-29.

When they needed it the most, the Bulldog defense made a stop. Pike County forced Wicksburg into a turnover on downs and ran the clock out.

Reynolds finished the game with 110 rushing yards, 75 receiving yards and three total touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs. Wilson had 146 passing yards and added 77 all-purpose yards on the ground and on punt return.

“We’re going to enjoy this win for tonight,” Pike County coach Fred Holland said following the game. “Offense played outstanding tonight. We’ll heal some wounds and go back at it next week.”

Pike County will host Abbeville next Friday at 7:00 pm.