Pike County’s 2023 season comes to an end

Published 2:06 pm Monday, November 6, 2023

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The Pike County Bulldogs saw their 2023 football season come to a close in a 10-0 loss to the Houston Academy Raiders on Nov. 3.

Pike County needed either a win over Houston Academy or an Opp loss to secure a playoff spot, but the Dawgs fell to the Raiders and Opp defeated Ashford in triple overtime to secure the final Class 3A, Region 2 playoff spot for the Bobcats.

It was a defensive battle between the two schools with the Bulldogs allowing just three offensive points. Neither team was able to find the end-zone in the first quarter and the two sides remained tied in a scoreless contest with under two minutes remaining in the first half.

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The Raiders then cashed in on a 54-yard punt return touchdown from Rodwick Jackson to give Houston Academy a 7-0 lead going into halftime. Those points would be the only points needed for the Raiders.

Houston Academy added to its lead with a 35-yard field goal with nine minutes left in the third quarter. While Pike County would never manage to find the end zone, the Bulldogs had opportunities.

As the fourth quarter began, the Pike County defense forced a turnover on downs at midfield but was unable to do anything with the field position. Pike County’s Braylin Jackson then forced a fumble and scooped the ball up and raced deep into Houston Academy territory. One again, though, PCHS came up scoreless and turned the ball over on downs. In Pike County’s final offensive possession, the Raiders earned an interception to secure the win.

Houston Academy tallied 237 total yards, while Pike County earned 190 yards with 135 yards on the ground. The Bulldog defense forced two turnovers and held Houston Academy to 7-of-17 on third and fourth downs. The PCHS offense, though, turned the ball over once and went just 1-for-13 on third and fourth downs.

Nemo Williams led the Pike County offense with 17 carries for 82 yards, while Braylin Jackson caught three passes for 37 yards and rushed for 27 yards on five carries. Omari Barrow completed 5-of-14 passes for 55 yards and one interception.

Markelis Hobdy led the Pike County defense with 12 tackles, while Bubba Williams earned nine tackles and one quarterback hurry. Jackson tallied six tackles, one pass breakup, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, while Ben Patterson earned eight tackles and one quarterback hurry. Que Carter also totaled six tackles, two tackles-for-loss, one sack and one quarterback hurry.

This season is just the second in the last 11 years that the Bulldogs did not qualify for the playoffs.