BY DUDLEY E. DAWSON
When Little Rock Christian humbled Pulaski Academy 55-13 back on Sept. 22, it was fair to wonder if the Bruins were still a viable contender to defend their Class 6A football state championship.
But four straight wins by a combined margin of 105 points since that loss has Pulaski Academy (7-1, 5-1) coming into Friday’s game with visiting Greenwood (8-0, 6-0) fully back in the hunt.
Those victories have kept head coach Anthony Lucas’ squad alive for at least a share of the 6A West conference title with the Bulldogs and Little Rock Christian (8-1, 7-0) meeting next week.
“We have really refocused since the loss and the kids are playing pretty good,” Lucas said. “We still have a lot of work to do, but I am proud of the corrections that we have made. We have a tough one this week.”
It is also a match up of last season’s title game that Pulaski Academy won 42-35 after Greenwood won the regular season match up 33-23.
“…I’ve been telling my kids what happened last year doesn’t matter this year,” Lucas said. “We have got our hands full. Hopefully the right team will show up Friday night.”
Greenwood had nine defensive starers and six offensive ones back from last season’s 10-3 squad while Pulaski Academy had 3 and 5, respectively.
“I think they are better than they were last year,” Lucas said. “Defensively they have everybody back on the defensive line and they are solid up front and their secondary is pretty solid. They run to the ball and cover really well. We are going to have to play extremely well.”
Lucas notes his team comes into the contest in good shape when it comes to injuries.
“We are pretty healthy, have a few guys that have the normal nicks and bruises that you have at this time you have coming into week nine of the season,” Lucas said. “…Everybody is working hard and we are healthy for the most part.”
In Lucas’ dream scenario, Pulaski Academy would down Greenwood and host Lake Hamilton next week and Greenwood then beat Little Rock Christian to create a three-way tie.
Little Rock Christian hosts Greenbrier (4-4, 3-3) on Friday and has won seven straight since a 43-22 non-conference loss on Sept. 1.
“That’s the plan and what we want to happen,” Lucas said. “This conference is like the SEC West. It’s a battle. I know the East is strong this year in the SEC, but usually it’s the SEC West is a battle every week. This conference is loaded.
“With us being Pulaski Academy, we get everyone’s best. Every team in every sport. Everybody plays extremely hard and is going to give us thier A game. So will are just really focused on one day and one game at a time.”