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Pike Lib football looks to go back-to-back

The Patriots are the reigning AISA Class AAA State Champions.
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 7:49 PM CST
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TROY, Ala. (WTVY) - It has all come down to one final game.

A game the Pike Lib Patriots have prepared for all season long.

“It means everything,” said Pike Lib head coach Rush Hixon. “It’s the goal we set out from day one. All the credit goes to the guys. They’ve worked all summer, all season to get to this point. So, it would be really special for this group. It’s a goal they’ve had since day one and you know they really want to achieve it as a group.”

“It’s just been a really great season,” added senior Bubba Dean. “It’s been a really long season, and I’m ready to keep it going and hopefully win this Friday.”

The Patriots are going back to Montgomery for the state championship game where they will face Tuscaloosa Academy.

A team they beat in the regular season.

“It gives us a lot,” said senior Kameron Baker. “I mean we’re still pretty confident. We’ve played them before. So, we stopped them last time looking to stop them again this time.”

Dean added “It will give us a slight advantage, but it also gives them an advantage because they’ve played us but I think we’re ready.”

“We’re going to have to hit on both sides of the ball,” said senior Cason Eubanks. “Our defense is probably one of the best in the state and they’re going to play their game and offense we’re going to play our game. So, it’s going to be a good fight.”

Despite the previous win against the Knights the Patriots know this is a new challenge.

“We’re not looking back at that game at all,” said Hixon. “For us, it’s all about this week and treating it like a faceless opponent.”

Pike has been unstoppable all season.

After losing game one the Patriots flipped a switch going on an 11-game win streak.

In that streak the offense put up over 450 points, while the defense played lights out holding each opponent to less than 20 points per game.

“It’s definitely been the coaching we’ve had,” said Dean. “It’s been very helpful with us. All of our hard practices and just doing our best.”

Baker added, “Our defense has been really good this year. Allowed not that many points. A lot of shutouts so we’re looking to do the same.”

Now, the reigning champs look to add another year of dominance to the scoreboard and bring home the Patriots’ second straight state title.

“It would mean a lot because it would be my first state championship and this is my last year of playing football ever,” said Eubanks.

Baker added, “I mean same mindset as it’s been all year just to win.”

“To me it’s another game honestly and to win. That’s the only mindset is to win,” said Dean.

Pike Lib and Tuscaloosa Academy will play in the championship game at Cramton Bowl Friday at 7 p.m..

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