After starting its 2021 season with games against three-ranked teams, Pisgah faced a second-year program in Whitesburg Christian last week.
The result was a cathartic 56-14 win following a tough 0-3 start.
“We kind of exercised some demons I guess,” Pisgah head coach Luke Pruitt said. “We came out and did what we were supposed to do. We got everybody in the game. There were a lot of smiles in the locker room after, which was good to see.”
Pisgah (1-3) hopes to be all smiles again after a non-region matchup with DAR Friday night. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Sam Kenimer Stadium in Pisgah.
It’s just the second all-time meeting between the schools. DAR won last year’s inaugural meeting 28-14.
Class 4A DAR (0-4) is coached by Scottsboro alum Hunter Holland, who is in the first year of his second tenure leading the Patriots. Holland, who is DAR’s all-time winningest coach, led the Patriots to their first two playoff appearances.
The Patriots are coming off a bitter 24-22 loss at Westminster Christian. DAR led 22-0 at halftime before the Warriors rallied in the second half to tie the game with just over two minutes remaining. DAR then had a go-ahead touchdown wiped off the board after being called for an offensive pass interference penalty, which ultimately forced DAR to punt. But the snap sailed over the punter’s head and out of the end zone for a safety for Westminster Christian with 14 seconds remaining.
“They had a real tough one last week,” Pruitt said of DAR. “But I know coach will have them ready. Their first four games they’ve been missing some players and have played some of the best in their region. They’ve got a solid team.”
DAR had its starting quarterback, senior Cameron Lindsay, for the first time this season due to injury. With him in the lineup, the Patriots ran the triple option more exclusively than it had in previous games and totaled 255 rushing yards.
“Without him they’d kind of used different (offenses) and dabbled with the option,” Pruitt said. “They ran it a lot more and I think that’s what we’ll see.”
Along with Lindsay, key players for the Patriots are running back Tyler Darling, fullback Brody Largen and wing back/receiver/safety Robert McCamey. Largen had 141 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries last week while Darling had 72 yards and a score on 16 carries.
If the Patriots do throw the triple option at the Eagles, it will be the second time they’ve faced it this season. Plainview runs a similar option attack.
“There’s some similarities,” Pruitt said. “The main thing is you can’t really tell during the week how you’re going to do against it because it’s hard to (replicate) in practice. So you don’t really know till you take the field (against it) in the game. We’ve got to win at the line of scrimmage and tackle well.”
Offensively, Pisgah would like to see their high-scoring ways continue. The Eagles’ 56 points last week were the most they had scored in a game since 1999, and they’re currently one of Class 2A’s highest-scoring teams at 40 points per game.
“Coach (Adam) Gilbert’s done a good job with the offense,” Pruitt said. “We’ve had a lot of guys making plays. Hopefully we keep that up.”