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Geiger’s Counter: Wow! What a game!

The showdown between border rivals Lamar County and Pike County Friday night at Pirate Field in Zebulon was all one could ask for in a high school football game. If you weren’t there you missed it. If a game like that can’t get the adrenaline pumping and the heart pounding just head on out to the cemetery because you are dead but just don’t know it yet. The Pirates and Trojans were tied atop the region standings going in. There was more than a hint of fall in the air. The jackets and sweaters went on early. It was perfect football weather. The crowd was standing room only. The bleachers were packed and fans lined the fence all the way around the stadium. Prior to the game, the grills were out and tailgating was going in full force. In other words, it was perfect. The Trojans won The Battle of Potato Creek 19-0. It was a hard-hitting game dominated by two stellar defenses. Pike held Lamar well below its average of over 40 points per game. The Trojans shut out the Pirates ‘“ the first time Pike had been held scoreless in 85 games. Lamar got two early scores and then relied on its defense to get the job done and it did. Thus, the Trojans got to take home the rivalry’s trophy ‘“ the Potato Creek jersey. The game may be over for this year but the healthy rivalry lives on. This week, the Pirates travel to Macon to take on the Raiders of Northeast High while Lamar hosts Crawford County for homecoming. Go out and support your team. Looking ahead, both teams are very much in the postseason picture. Jason Strickland’s Trojans have played all the top teams in the region and, barring a poor effort, could very well run the table to go undefeated over a 10-game season for the first time in school history. The Trojans went 9-0 in 2002 before losing in the first round of the playoffs to Albany. That remains the only undefeated season in LCCHS history. The final four teams remaining on Lamar’s regular season schedule are a combined 4-17 on the year. Conversely, Pike’s remaining opponents are a combined 14-8. Two of those ‘“ Morgan County and Putnam County ‘“ are probable playoff teams. Pike will likely earn the fourth playoff spot allotted Region 4AA. Where the Pirates will be seeded will depend on how they perform over the final four games. There is plenty of football yet to be played and nothing is better than playoff football except a hard-fought contest between two bitter rivals like we saw Friday night. Walter Geiger is editor and publisher of The Herald Gazette and Pike County Journal Reporter.

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