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Pike vs. Lamar: Hatfields vs. McCoys

By Ken K. Green The local gridiron version of the Hatfields and McCoys rages on this week as Lamar County hosts Pike County for the annual Battle of Potato Creek at Trojan Field in Barnesville. Located a mere 12 miles apart, as the crow flies, these two schools have been doing battle on the football field since 1976 when the Trojans beat the Pirates 35-0 in Zebulon. Although the series has been pretty evenly matched over the past 10 tears with the Trojans holding a 6-4 edge, Lamar County holds a decisive advantage in the series, winning 21 of 28 meetings. The only two schools the Trojans have played more than Pike are Mary Persons (33) and Manchester (34), neither of which are on this year’s schedule. Of the 28 previous meetings, 14 games have been played in each town. Lamar has won 10 games at home and 11 in Zebulon. Pike has won four at home and three in Zebulon. The Trojans own a three game winning streak in the series including last year’s 19-0 win in Zebulon. Lamar’s longest win streak in the series is 14 games between 1982 and 1997. In that time period, the schools did not play in 1990 and 91. They also did not play for seven years from 1998-2003 when Pike opted to play all nonregion games and padded their schedule with teams of similar size and strength in hope of resuscitating a seemingly dying program. The Pirates’ longest win streak in the series was three games from 1979-81. The Pirates have won two in a row on two occasions, 2004-05 and 2007-08. Their last win over Lamar was in 2008 when they beat the Trojans in the final game at Summers Field Memorial Stadium 22-15. Lamar won the next meeting in Barnesville when they came from behind to beat the Pirates 21-17 at Trojan Field in 2010. Lamar’s biggest margin of victory was a 40-0 win in Zebulon in 1997. Pike’s biggest margin of victory was a 38-14 win in 2004 in Zebulon. The most points scored by the Trojans came in a 45-27 win in Zebulon in 2007. The most points scored by Pike came in a 49-35 win in Barnesville in 2005. Lamar has eight shutouts in the series. The Pirates have never held the Trojans scoreless but held Lamar to six points in their first win in the series 7-6 in Zebulon in 1979. No longer a region opponent for Lamar as Pike moved up to Class AAA in the GHSA’s recent reclassifi cation, the Pirates come to Trojan Field looking for redemption behind second year head coach Brad Webber who led them to a 5-5 season in 2011. Although they lost 22 solid players to graduation, the 2012 edition of the Pirates boasts one of its largest rosters ever with over 80 players led by a crop of 17 seniors. The Pirates return a talented backfield including Artez Oglesby, a junior, and seniors Tony Anthony and Jonathan Ham. They will run behind a veteran offensive line anchored by seniors Matt Stone and Cody Fennell. First year starters junior Tyler Gregory at quarterback and seniors Darius Jordan and Jacob Adkins at wide receiver are very capable. The heart and soul of the Pike defense is senior middle linebacker Jess Devoursney who also plays tight end on offense. He will be surrounded by senior Alec Holtz at defensive end and Ham at outside linebacker. Anthony is a three-year starter at free safety and Oglesby, Jordan and Adkins will also play in the secondary.

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