The games that matter as far as playoff seeding begins this Friday night at Hawk Stadium.

The Hawks take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Before we take a look at that encounter lets look back at last weeks thriller in Carthage.

The Hawks can extremely close to taking down Carthage losing in the last seconds 28-21 to the top rated program in Class 4A Division I.

PG Head Coach Josh Gibson was extremely proud of his teams effort in the contest. "We had our chance to win and put them away with two minutes to go. I think everyone recognizes Carthage is the best program in the state and we proved that we can play the champs in the division above us and be right there with them. I was proud of the way our kids competed and played together the whole night."

Gibson says the offensive line played their best overall game of the year so far. PG stayed with Carthage by controlling the game and dictating the pace of the game.

The Hawks defensive unit held their opponents to 12 total yards rushing the football. Carthage did rack up impressive passing numbers. The defense was able to force several punts and turnovers against the high octane offense of Carthage. Gibson added, " We played well enough to win that that's all that matters."

Now it's on to the home district opener against Pittsburgh. Coach Gibson says that they have 3 really special athletes that are dangerous. He adds they are playing very well right now and scoring a bunch of points. So, it may be a shootout.

We asked Gibson what it would take to beat the Pirates. "We are going to have to dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. We cannot beat ourselves with penalties or turnovers. Lastly we cannot give up the big play on defense."

Gibson says they had no let down this week at practice, "Our coaches and kids are expected to grow and get better each week, we did not have a let down in practice, the kids responded very well."

As far as injuries are concerned the coach says they have a couple of athletes banged up, but he is hopeful they will not miss the game. Otherwise they are in good shape at this time.

Fall temperatures have finally arrived and Gibson is happy to be playing at home, " We LOVE playing at home. Our fans do a great job of packing the stands and creating a great atmosphere for our kids. Looking forward to district opener and expect another huge turnout."

This will also be a special night for some younger athletes at Hawk Stadium. It's the annual PGYA night as Gibson says they host the "Future". All the youngsters that play in the PGYA football program will be there and join the varsity in the locker room before the game and on the sidelines. A fun night for all according to the coach.

This Pleasant Grove team will not be undefeated like last years, but it's HEART is obviously as big. They proved that last week in Carthage. They continue to come together and get better as a team, and if they keep that up, will do well in district and make another long run in the playoffs.

As I have said before it starts at the top with Gibson and his talented and caring coaching staff and runs all the way through the program and the kids.

Long way to go, but don't bet against this team playing at Cowboys Stadium again in December for another title. If effort and commitment have anything to do with, and we think it does, no other team will out do them in those categories.

Be sure and enjoy a fall Friday night at Hawk Stadium and support these student athletes!!