Patriots spoil Blue Devils homecoming with 31-8 win
Published 11:58 pm Friday, September 29, 2023
By William Halliday
Special to The Messenger
NOTASULGA, Ala- Coach William Moguel and the Pike football team had last week off to rest and work on new things to add to their game plan for the rest of the season. One of those added elements was a wedge-style, run-heavy offense.
That offense helped the Pike Patriots roll over the Notasulga Blue Devils on their homecoming night, 31-8.
“It played out great for us tonight,” said Coach Moguel. “We knew they had a lot of team speed, and we were going to throw something at them, and we were going to try to wear them down and pound them for a little while. Guys did a really good job of executing… Really proud of the way our kids came out and played tonight.”
Junior Quarterback Dawson Bradford was the MVP of the game, leading the Patriots on the field with four rushing touchdowns, scoring all but three of their points. He rushed a total of nine times for 88 yards, as well as completing 4/5 pass attempts for 74 yards.
“He’s the leader of our team” Moguel said. “I’m so proud of him. I’ve been on him about being that leader and doing things. It really helps his confidence tonight to come out and play the way he did.”
The Patriots had over 300 yards of total offense compared to the Blue Devils 250 of yards.
At the start of the game, the Patriots got off to a quick start with two rushing touchdowns to go up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, not letting the Blue Devils get past their own fifty.
Though Notasulga would soon cut the lead, as Senior quarterback Elijah Rogers would through a 23-yard bomb to Senior wide-receiver Nevaeh Mooney for a Touchdown pass to cut the lead to 14-6. Rogers would then run the ball into the endzone for a 2-pt conversion the following play.
Towards the end of the half when the Patriots had the ball, things got a bit chippy between the two programs with players throwing a few punches. The teams had to be separated, making things heated heading into halftime.
The Patriots responded by not allowing the Blue Devils to score another touchdown the rest of the game, thanks in part to two forced interceptions as well as a few tackles for loss.
“A couple of weeks ago before we played St. Joe, you know we had a problem with our defense,” said Moguel. “It’s just attacking, so we went to a different defense. And they really came out and executed well tonight, and they got a little confidence and that helped them play a little bit harder tonight.”
Pike Liberal Arts School would go on to score two more touchdowns and a game ending field goal to win the game. Both touchdowns came from Bradford, one in the 3rd quarter with a 41-yard touchdown run and a seven-yard touchdown toward the beginning of the 4th quarter.
The Pike Patriots will travel next week to face Lighthouse Private Christian Academy on Friday Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.