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Patriots enter playoffs at home against Gadsen City

Senior quarterbacks Trey Bates (above) and Seth Parker will be a big asset to the Patriots going into the playoffs. Photo by www.jeffabbottphoto.com.

After winning its fourth region championship in a row, Bob Jones will begin its quest for a state championship Friday against visiting Gadsden City.

The Region 8 champions will be facing a Gadsden City team that finished fourth in Region 7. The Titans, 6-4 in the regular season, lost four of its last six games after a 4-0 start.

Bob Jones coach Kevin Rose hopes that playing at home will work to the Patriots’ advantage. Bob Jones was 5-0 at home during the regular season but only 2-3 on the road.

“We’ve been very good at home,” Rose said. He pointed to the huge support from the Madison community and Bob Jones’ student body as contributors to the Patriots’ home-field advantage.

Bob Jones led at halftime in all five home games and allowed only 40 total points to visiting teams. In contrast, the Patriots gave up 162 points in five road contests.

Rose said inexperience in several positions contributed to some of the road struggles.

Despite their 38-6 loss at Class 5A No. 1 Muscle Shoals last week, The Patriots have the tools to advance deep into the playoffs. Senior quarterbacks Trey

Bates and Seth Parker have both provided steady production.

“They both play within their strengths and capabilities,” Rose said.

Rose complimented Bates on his ability to throw the deep pass. He called Parker a “heady” quarterback who can run an up-tempo offense.

Both signal callers have benefited from solid running from Jay Rogers and Kevin Wright. The two rushers have led a ball-control running attack that has allowed the offense to be efficient and effective.

The anchor to the offense however, has been the offensive line’s ability to handle defensive fronts and open holes for the running backs.

The offensive line “has been the key to our season,” Rose said. “They’ve allowed us to control the football and keep the defense off the field.”

Bob Jones’ defense began the season with 10 new starters. The unit took a while to get accustomed to new roles. However, following the Patriots’ 42-14 loss at Hazel Green, the defense played much better, especially in the red zone.

By R. Sirvell Carter
Madison Weekly News