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Catholic route sours Pike Lib homecoming

Story by Griffin Pritchard | Publisher
Photos by Sandie Free | CAScoreboard Photographer

CENTRAL ALABAMA SCOREBOARD OFFICE – Pike Liberal got a few things right on hosting their first AHSAA homecoming. There was a parade and the students got all dressed up. They even crowned a queen. They outkicked their coverage choosing the top-ranked team in 4A as their date. 

Montgomery Catholic ended the game in the first quarter scoring 35 points on the way to a 56-0 victory. The Knights had their third shutout in so many weeks. In that time, they’ve outscored their opponents 176-0 (with wins over Slocomb, Geneva and the aforementioned Patriots).

“I’m extremely proud of the way we played in all three phases,” said Knights Coach Kirk Johnson after the Geneva win. “Our defense came out and set tone and played physical all night. The offense controlled the clock and created big plays. Our special teams continue to put the field in our favor. Anytime you can get a dominant win like that, it’s hard to be mad.”

Although that quote from the prior week’s opponent, it rang true after Friday as the Knights defense held the Patriots to 60 yards of total offense. Quarterback Dawson Bradford threw for just nine yards on six completions Davis Kilcrease and John Lott ran for a combined 51 yards. 

It’s easy to inflation is what doomed the Patriots. When the ball was inflated, they were immediately at a disadvantage and may come across as hyperbole to some. But when the Knights put up 35 in the first quarter, that opinion changed. 

Montgomery Catholic didn’t put points on the board until t he 9:35 mark in the opening frame, but from that point on, touchdowns were fast and furious. 

Caleb McCreary (6-11-1 for 178 and three dimes / rushed for 42 and a score) completed a 34-yard pass to Josh Palmer (2 receptions for 62 yards) for the go-ahead score. Jeremiah Cobb (6 for 161 and 2 scores) followed suit on a 46-yard touchdown run that made Auburn fans giddy about the prospects for next season. 

Jackson Booth (who punted for more than 300 yards for the Patriots) put his foot in one that landed at the Knights’ 13 only to be fielded and returned by Luke Harkless (3 receptions for 108) for the 87-yard score. 

McCreary and Harkless connected on a 36-yard touchdown pass with 1:50 left to play in the first period, pushing the tally to 28-0. Cobb, on the final play of the opening stanza, broke free on a 74-yard sprint into the end zone. 

Leading 35-0 at that point after a series of successful extra points by Callan Gadilhe, the Knights proceeded to add a single score in the second, third and fourth quarters. 

McCreary scored on a 26-yard run in the second and tossed a 63-yard scoring strike to Harkless in the third. 

J.J. Williams ended the night with a 7-yard run with under two minutes in the game. Williams and E.J. Babies ran for a combined 59 yards as five different Knights carried the football.

Overall Montgomery Catholic ran for 243 yards on their way to 458 yards of offense on 37 plays and held the Patriots to just 60 on 34 plays. 

Keltric Washington, Brennan Binns, Rickie Wiliams, Kamden Miller and Jaden James led the defense with a combined 17 tackles, 14 of which were solos. Binns also came down with an interception.

The Knights next host Montgomery Academy and Bullock County before traveling to Dale County and Andalusia to end the regular season. 

Founder/Publisher of Central Alabama Scoreboard. Former sportsguy, and managing editor.

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