Pike Lib looks to get better in return to the field

Published 1:49 pm Tuesday, September 12, 2023

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After a week off, the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots (0-2) are back at home this Friday, Sept. 15, against the Port St. Joe (Fla.) Tiger Sharks (1-1).

Pike Lib is coming off a bye week after a frustrating 38-6 loss to Bayside Academy the previous week in a physical battle.

“It went good. We’re just trying to heal up,” PLAS Coach William Moguel said of the off week. “We still have a few guys beat up and we’re trying to heal them up and we just really worked on ourselves a lot.”

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Port St. Joe started the season off with a 34-14 win over Liberty County (Fla.) and fell to South Walton (Fla.) 47-37 last week.

“They’re big up front and have a really athletic quarterback,” Moguel said of Port St. Joe. “They like to run it and come right at you. (Defensively) they’re going to blitz a lot. They have a really good football team.”

Tiger Shark quarterback Devin Cuttino has completed 9-of-15 passes for 167 yards, while also rushing for 172 yards and one score. Running back Chance Gainer has 233 yards and four touchdowns on just eight caries along with a receiving touchdown.

Asher Peacock leads the Port St. Joe defense with 27 tackles and one tackle-for-loss, while Gainer already has two interceptions.

“We’re trying to get better this week at every position and every phase of the game,” Moguel said. “I want to see our kids continue to compete hard for four quarters. If we can do that, we’ll get better each week.”

Moguel and his staff have continued to preach the Patriots’ mantra of improving every week as it’s the focus for Pike.

“Our goal right now is to keep working and continue to get better each week,” he emphasized. “Whether it’s on the field, in the classroom or just walking the halls, we’re trying to get better at every little thing.

“One of the things we preach as a staff is that the little things make the big things better. We’re just trying to build that mentality and that kind of culture here with these kids and give them some stability, so they know what to expect and they know what is going to happen day in and day out. The biggest thing for us is getting our kids out there and teaching them to compete in everything they do.”