PLAYOFF TIME: Bulldogs begin postseason play after perfect season

Published 3:00 am Friday, November 8, 2019

The Pike County Bulldogs finished their first undefeated season since 2009 last Friday night. Now they get set to begin the playoffs Friday night against T.R. Miller at Bulldogs Stadium in Brundidge.

After making to the third round of the playoffs a season ago, the Bulldogs hope to take a few steps further and advance to the state championship for the first time since 2006.

“It’s a new season now,” head coach Fred Holland said. “We realize we won the 10 games, but it’s time to put it behind us. Whoever plays good on Friday will be victorious.”

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The Bulldogs finished off their undefeated regular season with a 25-7 win over Sweet Water last week.

“It’s a big accomplishment,” Holland said. “We try to win every game. It’s big because the guys accomplished winning 10 games in a row. Our goal is try and get better and win every game. We are in the playoffs and realize records mean nothing.”

The Bulldogs have had successful seasons in the past only to see it come to an end prematurely in the postseason. Holland believes the key to taking another step is to remain focused.

“Remaining focused and trying to grasp all the information you can during the week,” Holland said. “We can’t give teams anything that they can try and capitalize on. We try and stay focused and do the things that make us successful.”

The Bulldogs have been successful this season thanks in large part to the leadership of their seniors. On and off the field, the seniors have provided leadership to the younger players.

“We have some seniors that enjoy playing,” Holland said. “They enjoy playing the game and they enjoy practicing. It’s not a dull day anytime because they bring so much to the table. Regardless of what it is, up time or down time, they bring a lot. It’s been a good feeling knowing we can find guys to surround other guys who really enjoy competing.”

The Bulldogs secured a first round playoff game after securing a first-place finish in the region standings. The home game provides the Bulldogs the opportunity to play in front of their hometown fans.

“It’s very exciting,” Holland said. “The good thing about it is you don’t have to go on long road trips. You can spend more time preparing. Playoffs is a time where everything is important.”

The Tigers finished as the four seed in Region 1 this season. They finished with a 6-4 overall record. They are coming off a 7-6 win over W.S. Neal in the regular season finale last Friday night.

The offense has featured both the run and the pass this season, but it’s the run game that sticks out more to coach Holland.

“I think they are a lot better running team than they are a passing team,” Holland said. “They have some guys who are really special in their passing game, but we feel like they will put their big guys up front and run the ball at you.”

The Bulldogs and Tigers previously met in the playoffs in the 2015 season. The Tigers pulled out a 49-8 win. The two teams have met a total of nine times in the playoffs with the Bulldogs winning five of them.