The Pirates moved up a classification to Region 2-AAA in 2012 after 33 years of competing as a Class AA team. The move up was thought to be a tough one for the team to handle, as Pike would be facing a tougher level of region competition including perennial powers Carver-Columbus and Peach County.
Despite being in a new classification, the Pirates qualified for the state playoffs for only the third time since the school began playing football in 1971 (the other times were 2004 and 2008). The 2012 Pirates would compete against 6 teams which also qualified for state in their respective classifications.
The Pirates’ season started with probably the most unbelievable game in team history, a 40-39 double overtime win against the Upson-Lee Knights in Pike’s season and home opener on Aug. 31. Junior running back Artez Oglesby did everything but sell food at the concession stands, rushing for 197 yards and four touchdowns and he also had a 90-yard kickoff return TD. Jarrod Fuqua’s extra point in the 2nd overtime gave the Pirates the wild victory.
The Pirates were roughed up the next two weeks, losing big to First Presbyterian Day and Lamar County (No. 4 in Class AA) before rebounding to beat Central-Carrollton to improve to 2-2 overall.
Pike won 2 of its next 3 games before its off week, including a big 21-14 victory over Jackson in which the Pirates scored TDs after recovering two on-side kicks. After a 24-14 loss to then-Class AAA No. 1 Peach County on Oct. 26, Pike stood at 4-4 and needed to win its final two road games to clinch a state playoff berth. The Pirates did just that, whipping Henry County 42-12 and Central Macon 35-6 to finish the regular season at 6-4 and secure the No. 3 seed from Region 2-AAA. The Pirates would have to hit the road to face Region 3-AAA No. 2 seed Washington County during the first round of the state playoffs.
Pike head coach Brad Webber told his team they had a chance to make history as the first Pirates team to win a state playoff game, but it wasn’t meant to be as Washington County thumped the Pirates 55-7 to end their season.
“Our starting quarterback and some of our linemen were very sick and couldn’t play against Washington County, but that was a very solid team that beat us,” said Webber. “My goal is to make sure we don’t wait another four years to get a state playoff berth.”