Coronavirus grounds state's top 5A offense -- again

Pike Road coach Patrick Browning expressed his disappointment after having his second game in a month canceled by coronavirus, this time affecting the Patriots' homecoming festivities.

The state’s top-rated 5A offense is grounded – again.

For the second time this season, an opponent has called Pike Road and canceled its game, citing coronavirus concerns.

This time it was Rehobeth, calling on Monday during Pike Road’s homecoming week and telling the Patriots that a positive COVID-19 test – presumably discovered prior to last Friday’s game – would force the cancellation.

Rehobeth (2-2) was coming off a five-turnover loss to Carroll, dropping it to 0-2 in region play.

Pike Road (4-0), meanwhile, defeated Andalusia without eight players who had been quarantined from close contact with infected students.

“I don’t understand at all,” Browning said, before adding, “The reality is we’re all fortunate to be playing right now. We all knew there would things that would come up throughout the season that were unexpected. This is just another unexpected event that we had to adapt to and adjust to and get ready to play Tallassee next week. Hopefully.”

The Patriots will now reschedule homecoming for the Oct. 2 game with Charles Henderson.

Interestingly enough, both Pike Road and Rehobeth have played the same two region opponents, albeit with drastically different results. Rehobeth lost to Andalusia 38-22 and Carroll 21-14, while Pike Road defeated Carroll 60-7 and Andalusia 39-18.

The Patriots had the benefit of six home games this fall, but have already lost two of them to COVID-19 after not playing the scheduled home opener with Calhoun on Aug. 28. Losing two home games will be keenly felt by an athletic department which counts on football revenue to finance the entire athletic sports year.

“We want to play,” Browning said. “This is a bad feeling. It’s a glimpse of what we were all feeling when we didn’t know whether we would play (the 2020 season) or not. At least in this situation, it’s a bummer we don’t get to play but we know we’re going to get to play again. But it’s disappointing, to say the least.”

Browning said he was especially disappointed for the community that has witnessed one of the state’s most explosive offenses in just one home game to this point. Pike Road has scored 162 points in three games, averaging 54.0 points a game. The average is the best among 5A schools, although Ardmore has two more points (164) in four games.

Counting all high school programs in all seven Alabama High School Athletic Association classifications and all three Alabama Independent School Association programs, Pike Road’s 54-points-per-game average is fourth in the state behind Spring Garden, North Jackson and Brantley.

MOST POINTS, CLASS 5A

(Number of games in parenthesis)

Ardmore (4) – 164

Pike Road (3) – 162

Central-Clay (4) – 154

Alexandria (3) – 142

Boaz (4) – 138

Sylacauga (4) – 137

Guntersville (3) – 133

Demopolis (4) – 129

Russellville (3) – 129

Faith Academy (4) -- 127

AVERAGE PER GAME, CLASS 5A

Pike Road (3) – 54.0

Alexandria (3) – 47.3

Guntersville (3) – 44.3

Russellville (3) – 43.0

Ardmore (4) – 41.0

Pleasant Grove (3) – 39.3

Central-Clay (4) – 38.5

Lawrence County (3) – 35.3

Boaz (4) – 34.5

Sylacauga (4) – 34.3

AVERAGE PER GAME, ALL TEAMS

Spring Garden (2) – 58.5

North Jackson (2) – 57.0

Brantley (3) --- 55.0

Pike Road (3) – 54.0

Jackson-Olin (2) – 52.0

Fyffe (3) – 50.3

Slocomb (3) – 49.3

Thompson (4) – 48.5

Bibb County (3) – 48.3

American Christian (3) – 47.7