Duke Watson runs away from the Pike defense in the 2020 win over the Pirates. (File photo/Russ Campbell)

Duke Watson runs away from the Pike defense in the 2020 win over the Pirates. (File photo/Russ Campbell)

Mary Persons (3-3, 2-2 region) will try to get back on track this Friday playing at Pike County for the first time since 1997.

Like the Bulldogs, the Pirates (1-4, 1-2 region) are coming off a lopsided loss. Pike fell 62-0 to Peach County on Friday. Pike has also lost to Jackson (45-14), Spalding (49-28) and Lamar County (28-7). The Pirates’ only win came over Upson-Lee in a 44-33 shootout in Thomaston.

Pike looks to be compiling its second straight tough season as the Pirates were just 1-7 last year. This is coach Brad Webber’s 11th season at Pike. His last winning season was 2018 when the Pirates went 8-4.

MP and Pike had not played each other in two decades until they were both placed into Region 2-AAA last year. So this will be the first time MP has travelled to Pirate Stadium since 1997, when MP won 41-0.

Coach Brian Nelson said Pike runs the Wing T and he’s excited to have the chance to move beyond last week’s drubbing.

“I still think we’re a pretty good football team,” said Nelson. “I still think we have a lot to play for and a lot in front of us. If you had asked me before the season I would think we would be 4-2 right now, but 3-3 isn’t too far off. I don’t think we’re that bad. In a perfect world we can go 7-3 and get in the playoffs. But we’ll see what happens. The sky ain’t falling here.”

MP sophomore running back Duke Watson now has 953 yards on 110 carries, and needs just 47 yards on Friday to hit 1,000 on the season. He averages almost 9 yards per carry and has 16 touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs.

Last year, MP ended a 4-game losing skid by stomping Pike 41-9 in Forsyth. The Bulldogs racked up 466 yards of offense and quarterback Logan Hickman threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns in the win.