Pike County gears up for tough matchup with Providence Christian

Published 1:59 pm Monday, October 9, 2023

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Off the heels of last week’s win over New Brockton, the Pike County Bulldogs (3-3, 3-2) will head to Dothan to face off against the Providence Christian Eagles (4-2, 4-0) in a Class 3A, Region 2 game on Oct. 13.

Despite being down more than 10 players due to suspension last week, the Bulldogs picked up a Homecoming win over New Brockton.

“I thought we played well. I thought we played very well,” PCHS Coach Mark Hurt said. “We really played good defensively against the run. We were short on guys in the secondary, so we have to work some things out back there.

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“(New Brockton) had two pretty good receivers and a good quarterback and they were in formations and rolled out a lot to keep us from blitzing. I thought offensively we executed and did what we needed to do. The kids responded well to the adversity that we faced.”

Due to that adversity, a majority of Pike County’s starters were forced to play on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Omari Barrow even saw snaps at defensive back for the first time.

“It just gave us an opportunity to try some different guys in different positions than they normally would get a look at,” Hurt said. “They did well and I think that is going to help us in the long run.”
Pike County will still be short those suspended players this week, and are expected to be eligible to return to the team next week. The Bulldogs will have to contend with one of the top teams in the region in Providence Christian on Friday.

The Eagles are coming off a 19-10 win over Northside Methodist last week and also have wins over Ashford, New Brocton and Opp. The physical Eagle offense is averaging more than 130 yards rushing per game.

They’re a very well-coached team,” Hurt said of Providence. “They’re very disciplined and they run a lot of ‘Wing-T’ counter type action and they are very good at it. They are very good at blocking. They’re not very big but they’re very good at what they do.”

Last week, injured running back Nemo Williams returned to the Pike County lineup and proceeded to rush for 97 yards and a touchdown for the Bulldogs. Williams, Markelis Hobdy and Que Carter combined for 205 yards on the ground in the win.

Pike County and Providence have met a total of three times in the past with the Bulldogs winning all three matchups including a 21-7 win last season.

Hurt said that he is looking for a intense football team on Friday night.

“I want to see us play with some intensity and play like we’re on a mission,” Hurt emphasized. “I want them to be able to execute offensively and defensively and just play at their level and not play down a level. Play up a level instead. That’s what it’s going to take to beat these guys.”