MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- Ja’Michael Jones scored two touchdowns as the Pike Road Patriots got the 43-22 win over Carver-Montgomery at the Pike Road Stadium on Friday night. With the win, the Patriots take the Class 6A, Region 2 Championship.
Pike Road (7-2, 6-0) has won seven straight games, along with many youth in key positions, and came away with the region title. "I saw a lot of fight, and it was a very emotional game with many freshmen and sophomores; we are going to enjoy this win," said Patriots head coach Granger Shook. "Very proud of this team. We must fix these mistakes even though we have a young team, but I will take this win over a playoff team."
Pike Road scored first in the game when cornerback Jordan King picked off a Carver pass and raced 68 yards for a score. With the touchdown, Pike Road led 8-0 with 4:38 left in the first quarter. Carver came right back and drove the field's length but was stopped at the Patriots one-yard line.
Carver-Montgomery came right back on their next possession, and with 5:20 left in the first quarter, TJ Russell hit TK Norman on a 30-yard touchdown pass in the end zone to get the Wolverines right back into the game. Laquenton Underwood scored on the two-point conversion, and this game was tied at 8-8.
With 9:47 left in the second quarter, the Patriots took a handoff and fumbled the ball at the 8-yard line; the ball was pushed to the 2-yard line and then knocked in the end zone, and offensive lineman Desmond Harbour jumped on it for a Pike Road score. With the touchdown, the Patriots led 15-8. With 4:29 left in the half, Jones scored on a 12-yard touchdown run, and the Patriots led 22-8.
Pike Road scored a huge touchdown right before halftime when Cason Myers scored on a 2-yard touchdown run, and the Patriots led 29-8 with only 25 seconds left in the half. Carver drove the ball down the field, but Russell was stopped at the Patriots 30-yard line to end the half. "The defense stepped it up," said Patriots defensive lineman Malik Blocton. "We game up a few big plays, but that is expected against a good team. We responded well to giving up those big plays, though, as we played pretty well for 40 minutes. We lost to them last year, so we wanted this one. We want to get closer as a team, to gel together and believe we are coming together." The Auburn commitment had a monster game on defense with seven tackles, two tackles for loss, and four sacks.
In the second half, Pike Road kept the scoring rolling as with 5:46 left in the third quarter, Jones scored on a 21-yard touchdown run, and the Patriots had the 36-8 big lead midway through the third quarter. Carver wasn't done, though, and with 2:27 left in the third quarter, Russell found Norman in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown pass play. With the score, the Wolverines cut the lead to 36-15 late in the third quarter.
After a Pike Road turnover on their own end of the field, Carver had another great scoring opportunity. With 1:29 left in the third quarter, Russell ripped off a 34-yard touchdown run around the right side of the field, and with that score, Carver only trailed 36-22 late in the third quarter.
On their next possession, Pike Road took the momentum right back, though, as Adrian Thornton scored on a 41-yard touchdown run, and Pike Road led 43-22 with 11:51 left in the game. Carver drove down the field late in the game, but defensive back Houston Markham picked off a Wolverines pass in the end zone to pretty much close out the game.
"This gives us more momentum coming into our senior night next week and into the playoffs," said Patriots receiver Mason Hussey. "Every time we put a game plan in, we expect to put 60 on them, but we are happy with what we scored in this game."
For the game, Myers completed 19-of-24 passing for 160 yards and a 2-yard rushing touchdown. Jones had 80 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. Thornton rushed for 50 yards on three carries and a touchdown. Mac Ceman had eight tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack. Linebacker Braylon Outlaw had eight tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and a sack.
Next, for both teams, Pike Road will host B.T. Washington, while Carver-Montgomery will have an open week before they host Briarwood Christian in the first round of the playoffs.