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Patriots to play for Region 1 championship

A region championship will be on the line Friday night when the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots host the Glenwood Gators in Troy.

It will be the region finale for both teams on Friday night. Both teams enter the contest 3-0 in region play. The loser of the contest will be guaranteed the second seed coming out of Region 1.

A win would give the Patriots their first region title since 2008 when they won their first of back-to-back state championships under head coach Steven Kilcrease.

“Everything we have done up to this point has been for this week,” White said. “This week means a little bit more. If we win we’re at home in the playoffs and if we lose we are on the road. This is why you play the game and this is why guys come to Pike Liberal Arts. A championship would mean the world.”

The Patriots got the better of Valiant Cross Academy last Friday night, defeating the Warriors 41-6. When the clock hit triple Zeroes after the game, the Patriots’ attention immediately went towards Glenwood.

“We took Saturday off and went to church on Sunday,” White said. “After church we got a lift in and watched film. Nothing changed this week and that’s how we wanted it.”

The Gators come into the contest undefeated, while the Patriots’ lone loss came against Chambers Academy late last month.

The Gators are coming off a 56-13 win over Hooper Academy last Friday night in Phenix City.

The Gators so far this season have outscored their opponents 320-87. They are averaging 45 points per game, while their defense has allowed just 12 points.

“I have been battling those guys for a long time,” White said. “They have a professional coach in Jason Gibson. He has done a great job with that program. They are strong from top to bottom. They will give you different looks and get into 15 different formations. Their quarterback is a terrific runner and their tailback is a stud who is a tremendous young man. Their receivers are long and lean. They look just like our Jay Taylor and Mario Davenport. It’s going to be a dog fight.”

The Patriots have averaged 35 points per game this season. In their six wins, the Patriots have outscored their opponents 222-25.

The Patriots have finished in second place in their region two times in the last five years. In 2016, the Patriots had a chance to claim a region title by defeating Lee-Scott, but fell to the Warriors 28-14.

Not only will the region championship be on the line, there will be plenty of things to celebrate as well.

“This is a huge week,” head coach Mario White said. “We have the number one team in the state coming in, the region championship is on the line, it’s the 50th anniversary and it’s homecoming.”

These two teams last played in 2018 when the Gators defeated the Patriots 50-7. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.