Local teams eye region championship

Published 6:44 pm Monday, October 21, 2019

The high school football season is rapidly coming to its conclusion. Charles Henderson and Goshen hope to join both Pike County and Ariton as region champions this Friday night.

The Pike County Bulldogs wrapped up their region championship last week when they knocked off Opp 44-13. It’s the second consecutive championship for the Bulldogs. They currently a hold an undefeated region record at 6-0 with one game remaining.

“It means a lot,” coach Fred Holland said on Friday. “Securing a first round home game in the playoffs is big. We’re not taking anything away from our last two games of the regular season though.”

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The Bulldogs are currently riding a 19-game region winning streak. Their last loss came in the 2017 region opener against Montgomery Academy, a team that is no longer in the Bulldogs’ region.

The Ariton Purple Cats picked up a huge win over G.W. Long Rebels in a battle of undefeated region teams on Friday night. The win gives the Purple Cats their second region championship in the last three seasons.

There are two other local teams ready to join the Bulldogs and Purple Cats as region champions.

After squeaking into the postseason last year as a four seed, the Charles Henderson Trojans are one win away from securing their first region championship since the 2013 season, when they advanced all the way to the state championship game.

The Trojans will have to knock off a team that has been in first place all season long. Valley enters the game tied with the Trojans with one loss. That loss came last week against Rehobeth.

“To win a region title, we have got to win the next game at Valley,” head coach Brad McCoy said on Friday. “We’ve got to look at it, but it increases our chances of playing at home in the first round of the playoffs, and that’s big. Playing at Valley will be a big challenge, but we play some pretty good football on the road, when you look at our games at Beauregard and Carroll; maybe we can put it together again next week.”

The Trojans lost to Valley last season 26-20.

The Eagles fell to Luverne in a tight game a few weeks ago. Now with just one region game remaining, the Eagles still have a chance to win the region, although they will need some help. The Eagles will travel to Highland Home on Friday night to take on the undefeated Flying Squadron. A win for the Eagles, paired with a Luverne win will force a three-team tie at the top of region standings. The Eagles and Flying Squadron will be tied with Luverne. A Goshen win paired with a Luverne loss to Samson would give the Eagles the championship with Highland Home finishing second and Luverne finishing in third.

The Eagles fell to Highland Home 27-20 last season in Goshen.

Region championships by Charles Henderson and Goshen will give the Pike County area three region champions in the same season for the first time. The last time Pike County had two teams win championships in the same season came in the 2007 season when both Pike County and Charles Henderson took home championships.