Patriots claim title with win over Glenwood
The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots outscored Glenwood Academy 17-0 in the second half and claimed their first state championship since 2009 with a 38-21 win over the Gators.
The Gators and the Patriots traded touchdowns in the opening half, but after a subtle change the Patriots pulled away in the second half, giving them their third state championship.
“They have been special all season long,” head coach Mario White said. “We came together as a family. Nothing ever flinches them. I was honest with them and I was real with them. These guys believed in God and did everything the right way. They were rewarded for it tonight.”
After being outgained 301 to 165 in the opening half, the Patriots answered in the second half when they outgained the Gators 210-45. After allowing 21 first half points, coach White and defensive coordinator Robert Rollan decided to make a change.
“Coach White came to me and said go man across the board and put everyone in the box,” Rollan said. “That’s what we did. We put our best athletes on them and we put our best run support guys in the middle. We went strength to the running back to fill the holes they were running to and it worked.”
Senior running back Mayes White led the offense on Friday night. He threw for 156 yards and had one touchdown. On the ground, the senior rushed for 182 yards on 14 carries and had three rushing touchdowns.
“They were planning on stopping the run, so we had a new play where I find a hole and go,” Mayes White said. “It worked all night. I found holes and tried to use my speed to get through them.”
Jay Taylor was one of eight Patriots to catch a pass on Friday. He finished with four catches for 78 yards.
“We practice and work hard every day,” Taylor said. “The coaches push us to be the best we can be and we show out on the field.”
The Gators took the opening possession eighty yards on eight plays to take the early lead. Running back Kye Robichaux took the fourth play of the drive 36 yards, setting the Gators up on the Patriot 21-yard line. Four plays later Griner connected with Ron Beachamp for a 1 yard touchdown.
After the Patriot offense went three-and-out on their first possession, Jay Taylor picked off a Griner pass and returned it for a 41-yard touchdown.
Tied at 7, Griner scampered for 22 yards setting up the Gators at the 49-yard line. After a holding call, Griner found a wide open Beachamp for a 60-yard touchdown.
Patriot quarterback Mayes White rushed for 53 yards in the opening half. 13 of them came on a game-tying touchdown early in the second quarter, bringing the score to 14-14.
Robichaux racked up 95 first half yards. He gave the Gators another lead when he rushed for a 10-yard touchdown.
Trailing 21-14, the Patriots evened the score one final time in the first half when White found Elijah Caldwell for a 13-yard touchdown.
After there were six first half touchdowns, it took until the final minute of the third quarter for either team to add to their score. Pinned on his own 5, White called his own number and ran for a 95-yard touchdown. The Patriots led the Gators 28-21 with 56 seconds remaining in the third.
With 11:50 remaining in the fourth, the Patriots took over on their own nine. 16 plays and just over eight minutes later, White rumbled his way in for an eight-yard touchdown. After a successful PAT by Scott Taylor Renfroe, the Patriots took a 35-21 lead with 3:42 remaining.
After an interception by Levi Sikes, Renfroe closed out the scoring with an 18-yard field goal.
K.C. Bradford and Peyton Dicks led the defense with 10 tackles, while White finished with six.
The Patriot defense forced four turnovers.
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