Bulldogs aim to keep winning streak alive

Published 11:20 am Tuesday, September 19, 2023

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After losing in week one, the Pike County Bulldogs (2-1, 2-1) have won back-to-back games and will look to keep that going this Friday, Sept. 22, in another Class 3A, Region 2 matchup with the Opp Bobcats (1-3, 1-2) on the road.

Pike County thrashed Northside Methodist 47-0 last week, earning touchdowns on plays over 50 yards in each of its first three possessions.

“We came out fast and that’s what we’ve been talking about; starting fast,” PCHS Coach Mark Hurt said. “The first few games we started out slow and flat but we got off to a fast start the last couple of games and I think we just have to continue to concentrate on that.”

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In the first three regular season games, running back Nemo Williams has been nearly unstoppable rushing for 425 yards and five touchdowns. He’s averaging 8.9 yards per carry, as well.

Williams hasn’t been a one-man show for the Bulldogs, however. Sophomore athlete Braylin Jackson has been spectacular in all three phases of the game. So far this season he has seven catches for 224 yards (32 yards per catch) and two touchdowns along with 85 yards and a touchdown on the ground and one punt return for a score. On defense, he’s tallied 16 tackles, 2.5 tackles-for-loss, two pass breakups and an interception. Leading the defense has been senior Markelis Hobdy with 27 tackles and five tackles-for-loss.

Opp started the season with a 42-8 loss to Andalusia and then dropped a region game against New Brockton 19-14 before besting Northside Methodist 19-7. Last week, the Bobcats lost 10-6 to Providence Christian in another region clash.

“Opp runs a lot of two-back sets (on offense), a lot of downhill runs,” Hurt said of the Bobcats. “They have a quarterback that is pretty good sized and likes to run it a lot with tall receivers. We expect it to be a big challenge for us. Defensively, they’re pretty solid. They made some errors that may have cost them a game here and there but for the most party, they’re pretty solid.”

Pike County holds the edge over Opp 14-8 in the all-time series between the two schools. Last season, Opp won 28-27, however. Before that the Bulldogs were on a three-game winning streak over Opp. The two sides met for the first time in 1924, a 51-0 Opp win.

“I just want to see our guys continue to start fast and execute and get better and better every week,” Hurt said. “We’re still having some issues on needing to cut down on a few penalties but that’s a part of the process of getting a little bit more disciplined each week and not anticipating so much. I just expect them o settle in and play focused and just do what we need to do come out on top.”