Pike County closes regular season against Houston Academy

Published 11:24 am Tuesday, October 25, 2022

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The Pike County Bulldogs (6-2, 5-2) have the playoffs in their sights as the regular season comes to a close this Friday night at home against the No. 4-ranked Houston Academy Raiders (9-0, 7-0) in a Class 3A, Region 2 showdown.

The unbeaten Raiders have the No. 1 seed in Region 2 locked down and Opp has the No. 2 seed locked up, while Straughn, Pike County and Providence Christian are in contention for the final two playoff spots. A Pike County win and Straughn loss would put the Bulldogs in the No. 3 seed, with Providence in the No. 3 seed and Straughn out. A Straughn win and Pike County loss would put Pike County and Providence Christian in a tie for the fourth spot. Pike County holds the tiebreaker over Providence Christian in a head-to-head matchup.

If Pike County losses and Providence Christian defeats Straughn it would cause a three-way tie between the three schools. Pike County beat Providence Christian head-to-head, while Straughn beat Pike County and – in this scenario – Providence defeated Straughn.

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The AHSAA’s various tiebreakers then come into effect and the deciding factor would be Tiebreaker N in the AHSAA Rulebook. Tiebreaker N stipulates that the team whose defeated opponents has the most victories wins the tiebreaker. In this scenario, Straughn’s defeated opponents have totaled 19 wins this season with Pike County’s defeated opponents having won 17 games and Providence Christian’s defeated opponents having eight wins.

These numbers will change by Saturday – with various games going on this week – but the only number that could significantly change is that of Providence’s defeated opponents win total. If the Eagles defeat Straughn this week their defeated opponent’s win total will jump to at least 14. Depending on how other week 10 games go, it’s still unlikely that Providence’s defeated opponent win totals will be able to reach that of Straughn or Pike County, however, meaning PCHS and Straughn will likely secure the final two playoff spots even in this scenario.

Pike County is coming off its most lopsided win since 2019 with a 63-6 win over Daleville last week. The 63 points is also the first time the Bulldogs have scored 63 points or more since 2017. Pike County’s 63 points last week almost matched the Bulldogs’ entire point total (77) from 2021.

Senior athlete Ian Foster has been a dynamic playmaker all season long but that has never been more on display than it was last week as Foster caught four touchdown passes and earned two interceptions on defense. Foster also returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown.

Meanwhile, there has been no more dominant team in Region 2 than Houston Academy this season. The Raiders are undefeated with resounding 42-7 wins over both Opp and Providence Christian the past two weeks. In fact, Houston Academy has outscored its opponents 136-14 in the past three games.

Houston Academy’s offense is averaging 42 points per game and the Raider defense is giving up just 7 points per game this season. The balanced Raider offensive attack is led by quarterback Kadyn Mitchell, who has thrown for 1,576 yards and 32 touchdowns this season. Running back Jeb Daughtry has also tallied 1,131 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. Will Wells has been Mitchell’s favorite target, hauling in 31 catches for 635 yards and 13 touchdowns. Rodwick Jackson also has a nose for the end-zone, having hauled in 12 passes for 247 yards and seven touchdowns in the first eight games.

Through the first eight games, Houston Academy’s defense was led by Camden Dyer with 63 tackles and two tackles-for-loss. George Zeron leads the defense with three interceptions, as well.

This will be just the third time Pike County and Houston Academy will have ever played and the Bulldogs currently hold a 2-0 edge over the Raiders coming into the matchup. Pike County won the last game 50-0 in 2019 and also defeated Houston Academy 39-7 in 2018, as well.

Pike County and Houston Academy will kickoff this Friday night at 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium in Brundidge.