One of our Appalachian Wireless Games of the Week is at the Pike County Bowl, where Pike Central will take on Somerset at 6:00 p.m.
Pike Central did not play a full game in week zero last Friday due to the thunder and lightning in the area.
The Hawks led 14-0 before the game was called at half.
The Hawks are scheduled to play the second of their game against Whitley County Monday, September 22nd.
Meanwhile, the Briar Jumpers got a full game in but lost to cross-town rival Southwestern 38-7.
I spent Monday at Pike Central watching some of practice and talked to head coach Shawn Thacker and senior running back Chris Wesley about last week's debacle of not playing a full game.
Chris Wesley, Senior Running Back
What is the worst part about only getting to play one half of football against Whitley County in week zero?
It was definitely nice to get out there and play a half. It's better than nothing. I am definitely hungry though because I didn't get a full game so I definitely want to go out this week in the Pike County Bowl and play a full game, play hard, finish the game and get a win.
What do you think of Somerset?
They are decent. They have a quarterback who likes to scramble. They have a pretty good defense too, so I think the game plan is do what we do, play our game and come out with a win.
Where do you have the advantage over Somerset?
I think we definitely have size on our side so that's something we can take advantage of if we have to, but we are not one sided. We have speed, we have skill. We don't need just size. It's whatever shows up on Friday. There are different things we can exploit and use to our advantage.
How do you prepare knowing you only got to play a half of a game?
I think you prepare the same as you would prepare for any team -- the same we prepare for a district game or a playoff game. You work hard all week in practice and you go out and play your hardest. I don't think there is any other way to prepare.
What did you see in the little bit of time you did get to play in week zero?
I think we gotta work together a little bit more, we gotta communicate a little bit more. We were having trouble with that. But if we get that together, we'll be fine. We have all of the tools. We just need to put it together.
Do you consider it a win even though you will come back and play Whitley County on Monday, September 22nd?
No it's definitely not a win. It's not a win until the clock strikes zero. I definitely want to go back and play Whitley County and get a win.
What’s awesome about playing the Pike County Bowl?
The Pike County Bowl is always a big event. Two days, a bunch of games. It's definitely an event and people come out for it so you always want to play good in that. Henry Clay was a tough opponent last year. I don't think we need to change anything when we are going against Somerset. I think they are still a good team. I still think we need to play as hard as we can against them.
Head Coach Shawn Thacker
What do you hate about only playing a half of football in week zero and not being able to play a full game?
You would like to have a little more film to see what you are doing, but at the same time, come Monday what happened on Friday doesn't matter anyway other than just a few minor or major corrections and then move on to next week. We watched the film, we critiqued it and we moved on and get ready for Somerset.
Would you consider it unfair?
It is what it is. You have to be flexible and move on. For years, I was used to playing on Saturday when I coached in college. I think it's made a bigger deal than what it really is. It boils down to, Sunday, we still go back to work scouting the opponent and on Monday, you put your hard hat on and go back to work.
What did your team do well against Whitley County?
Offensively, I thought we ran the football well at times. We were able to move around and get into some different formations and still be able to run the football. We threw the bubble screens well. I really liked what I saw on defense. I thought we were flying to the football -- something that I have been working on and the kids have been working on, and the coaches pushing them to the football. We didn't have a lot of missed assignments and that's always good, especially your first game. Of course we only got a half in. As fatigue would have sat in maybe, we probably might of made some more mistakes.
What’s good about Somerset?
Somerset is a dangerous ball club. I don't care if they are youthful or not. They are a dangerous ball club. They have got some athletes. I think some people are selling them short because of their youth, but they scare me. They are big up front, they come off the ball well, Robbie (Lucas) does a great job of getting those guys ready. And you know they are going to be ready when they roll in here on Friday. And Chris hit it: we got to communicate better. Our offensive line has to pick up some of the blitz stuff better. Hopefully by the time we get to Friday, we will be ready to go.