Patriots play for a region title Friday night

Published 5:19 pm Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots will play for a region championship on Friday night when they travel to take on Glenwood.

The Patriots enter the contest with a one-game lead over the Gators. A win for the Patriots will secure a region championship for the Trojans, while a lost would force a three-team tie between the Trojans, Gators and Lee-Scott Academy.

“We are really excited,” head coach Mario White said. “This one has a lot of significance to it. We have an opportunity to be region champions and that is one of our goals. We are really excited for the opportunity to play.”

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The Patriots were in the same situation last year when the Gators arrived in Troy with the championship on the line. The Patriots fell to the Gators 26-7, giving Glenwood the region title.

The two teams met again a few weeks later in the AISA State Championship game. The Patriots enacted their revenge in that game, winning 38-21.

“We are playing them for their homecoming this year. Our homecoming game was the region championship game last year,” White said. “They came to our house and hit us in the mouth. It’s going to be a physical game. There is going to be talent all over the field. Power 5 guys on their team and I think we have talented guys on our team as well. I think it will be a good game for a lot of people to come watch. Going to be good for AISA.”

Both teams enter the game with sizable winning streak. The Gators are coming off a 52-6 win over Hooper Academy last week and are on a four-game winning streak. The Patriots defeated Valiant Cross Academy 42-7 last week and have won their last seven games.

The Gators are outscoring their opponents 158-108 this season. Their offense is averaging 36 points per game.

“Everything runs through AJ Harris,” White said. “They have a young quarterback this year, who is a dynamic player. He is more of a passer, who is a little more elusive. We have to keep him contained and play sound in our zone.”

Unofficially this will the 32nd meeting between the two schools. The Patriots hold a slight edge in the series, leading 16-15.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.