Pike Liberal to test FDA’s defense

Published 6:06 pm Tuesday, September 9, 2008

This Friday, when Pike Liberal Arts travels to Fort Dale, there will only be one undefeated team in Region 1 at the end of the night.

The Patriots have put up some impressive numbers this season in their first two games, and the Eagles defense will have to be on its toes.

Priority number one will be stopping senior running back Jerel Foster.

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“He’s pretty stinkin’ good,” said head coach James Sampley. “He had 540 yards rushing in one game against Pickens last year.”

Fundamentals will be key in neutralizing Foster.

“He’s very explosive, so we’ve got to tackle him and make sure we get him on the ground,” Sampley said.

However, Foster isn’t Pike’s only weapon.

Quarterback Trey Walters throws the ball well, and Douglas Hawkins is a solid wide receiver.

Sampley also said the Pike defense doesn’t give up big plays.

“They make you earn it by not giving up big plays,” he said. “That gives you more time to make a mistake and mess up the drive.”

Sampley said the Eagles will have to play ball control on offense and score.

“We did that last Friday against Glenwood, but we didn’t score like we should have,” he said. “We’ve got to do that inside the 20-yard line.”

The Eagles are also facing some injury problems.

Eric Moody won’t play because of an ankle injury, and Paul Whigham is out from a broken finger that occurred off the field.

Steven Lee is still nursing an injury to his knee, but Dustin Till should return as quarterback.

“It’s like I tell the kids, if you’re third on the depth chart, you’ve got to practice hard and be ready to play,” Sampley said.

Overall, Sampley also said the Eagles will have to be more in-sync as a team than they were against Glenwood.

“I like our chances against anyone if we play well,” he said