Patriots host Warriors
The Pike Patriots will have the unusual task of playing Lee Scott this evening one week before the two teams are slated to go head-to-head in the first round of the AISA Class 3A State Playoffs.
The Patriots (6-3, 3-2) secured the second seed in next week’s playoffs when they defeated Morgan Academy last Friday night. This week they get an early look at their first round opponent.
“It’s kind of weird because we know we will be playing them again next week,” said Patriots head coach Gene Allen. “You don’t want to show a lot this week, because you know we will be seeing them again.”
The challenge for the Patriots will be to try and draw a line between staying sharp and keeping a competitive edge.
“Its tough,” Allen said. “They are going to be really physical. We want to win and go into the playoffs. At the same time we don’t want to get anybody hurt trying to get there. We already made the playoffs and next week is a lot more important. It’s a Catch .22 because we want to win this game.”
There will be no surprises when the Warriors and Patriots hit the field. Both Allen and Warriors coach Robert Maddox are very familiar with one another from their days coaching in AISA, and Allen doesn’t expect either one of them to change their game plan.
“We are not going to change a lot, and he isn’t going to change a lot,” Allen said. “We have both ben successful at what we do so there won’t be a lot of changes.”
Maddox and the Warriors bring an offense from the past that features a lot of hard running up the middle and burning as much clock as possible.
“Robert is an old school guy,” Allen said. “If he can get three yards every play he is going to be happy. They are going to try and control the clock. If they can take the opening kick and take up the whole first quarter they are going to do it.”
The Patriots will honor their 13 seniors prior to kickoff.
“It’s great for the seniors,” Allen said. “We have a great group of seniors and I hat to see them leave. Hopefully we will have four more weeks before we have to do that, but it’s good to recognize them.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.