• 64°

Bulldogs open the postseason against Hillcrest-Evergreen

The Pike County Bulldogs went into the final week of the regular season still not knowing who their playoff opponent was going to be. After last Friday’s action, the Bulldogs are traveling to Evergreen to take on Hillcrest-Evergreen in the opening round of the Class 3A State Playoffs.

“It’s been a good week of practice and the kids have been working hard,” Bulldogs head coach Fred Holland said. “The kids have been focused and everybody is proud that we made the playoffs. We are going to be facing a good football team. We have a long trip but the guys are really excited about it.”

The Bulldogs haven’t played a football game in two weeks. They closed out the regular season with a win over Reeltown that sealed their playoff fate. The Bulldogs used the extra time to heal up for the postseason.

“It gave us some time to rest up a little bit,” Holland said. “We healed some guys that were a little banged up. We would have loved to play, but the time off did us some good. We worked on us the whole week and it allowed us to improve.”

Hillcrest-Evergreen, Bayside Academy and Flomaton entered the final week of the regular season in a three-way-tie for second place in region 1. Holland and his coaches waited in earnest to find out who their opening opponent was going to be.

“We were a little confused because it was between three teams,” Holland said. “We had film on two of them, but the team we didn’t have film on turned out to be the team we are facing. It all worked out for the good. We had a good week of preparation for them.”

Hillcrest comes into the contest with a 6-4 overall record and they were 4-2 in Region 1 play.

The Jaguars have averaged nearly 19 points per game this season, while their defense has allowed 17 points per game.

“Hillcrest has a really good team,” Holland said. “They have had a good team for the last couple of years. Our job is to continue what we’ve been doing. I think we have improved every week. We are very excited about the game and we know it’s going to be a tough game.”

The two teams were scheduled to play each other this season, but due to Pike County Schools electing to not play anyone outside their region, they were forced to forfeit the game to the Jaguars.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Brooks Memorial Stadium in Evergreen.