After snapping losing streak, Patriots return home to host rival Fort Dale

Published 6:29 pm Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots return home with a little bit of momentum to take on rival Fort Dale for homecoming on Friday night in Troy.

The Patriots, after winning the season opener in double overtime against Morgan Academy lost five consecutive games, dropping them to 1-5 on the season and 0-2 in region play.

The Patriots snapped their losing streak in non-region play last Friday night when they knocked off 1A Abbeville Christian 54-14.

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“I thought we played a lot better,” Patriots head coach Gene Allen said. “We have been getting better and better as the year has gone one. We got ahead the other night and things started working for us. We did a better job at stopping the run. We had four or five interceptions so I was really pleased with that.”

The Patriots had five different players score in last Friday night’s win, including senior running Chip Faircloth who finished with two touchdowns and had 87 yards rushing.

“I thought we got better offensively,” Allen said. “We had several touchdown passes and a couple long runs. I think our running game is getting better and better.

Now the Patriots return home and to region play to take on rival Fort Dale.

“I think our confidence is getting better and better,” Allen said. “The kids are starting to believe. We have had a really good week of practice and I believe it’s going to carry over on Friday night. Not only is it a region game, it’s a rivalry game for us. I think the kids are going to come out and play hard.”

With just three region games remaining, Allen knows that each remaining region game will be key in the Patriots’ pursuit of a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive season.

“It’s in our hands,” Allen said. “If we could win out, we could still be second or third. We have to get this win (Friday night) and then we will worry about Monroe next week and Success Unlimited in a couple weeks.

“Like I told them, I don’t think there are any clear cut favorites in 3A right now. I think anybody can win it. You have to get in it first. Hopefully we will come out and play good and get a little more confidence.”

Fort Dale is one team standing in the way of the Patriots in the standings. They enter the game with a 2-4 overall record and they sit at 1-1 in region play.

“They have been trying to run it on everybody all year,” Allen said. “I don’t see them doing anything different. We have seen the spread stuff, so hopefully we can handle that. They have two really good running backs that do a good job.”

The Eagles are coming off a 41-24 win over the Hooper Colts last Friday night. They are averaging 23.5 points per game. They have allowed 34.5 points per game.

The Patriots shutout the Eagles 49-0 in their meeting last season.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.