Pope John Paul II faces Pine

Published 9:04 am Friday, November 2, 2012

By Chris Kinkaid

Pontchartrain newspapers

The Pine Raiders hope to put a little damper on Pope John Paul II’s Senior Night tonight as they travel to Lester Latino Jaguar Field for a District 8-2A contest.

Pine’s first-year coach, Bradley Seal, has turned the program around. Over the previous three seasons, the Raiders went 7-23.

PJP coach Mark Jeanmard said Seal is doing a great job.

“They used to have trouble doing the basic things of football, but now he’s got them moving in the right direction,” Jeanmard said.

Sophomore quarterback Derrick Dillon, who has accounted for 21 touchdowns, leads Pine’s offense. He’s completed 51-of-115 for 818 yards with 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Dillon also enters as the Raiders’ leading rusher, going for 1,007 yards on 116 carries (8.6 yards per carry) and 11 scores.

Seal said Dillon is somebody who can tally anytime and said he’s accurate.

“What makes him is his attitude,” Seal said. “He shows up for work every day. Once we started play in district was when he found his groove and started making plays rushing and passing. The numbers don’t tell how good he is. He is the real deal.”

Dillon has spread the ball around, as six different receivers have caught passes.

Demareo Carter tops the Raiders with 15 catches for 248 yards and five scores, while Tevin Causey begins with 14 receptions, 232 yards and three TDs. Bradley Ladner has 10 catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns.

The Raiders’ defensive unit is led by senior middle linebacker Trent Ard. He has 57 stops with two interceptions. Ard was an end before moving to linebacker.

Seal said he’s another team leader.

“It was quite obvious he was the best football player on the team,” Seal said. “From day one, we knew that move would help us. He’s been the leader of the defense.”

PJP (3-5, 1-3) is hoping to turn things around, as they have lost five of their last six games. The Jags suffered a 28-19 setback to St. Thomas Aquinas last week.

Despite the loss, Jeanmard said they played their most intense contest this season against St. Thomas.

“From here on out, they (games) are all like the playoffs,” Jeanmard said. “I don’t know all of the variables, but if we win, we’ll have a better shot of being in.”

Pine (4-4, 1-3) snapped a three-game losing streak last week with a 51-8 win over St. Helena Central.

PJP won last year’s matchup, 44-8.

Jaguars’ quarterback Ryan Noonan completed 6-of-15 passes for 69 yards with a touchdown to Mark Mornay and a pair of interceptions. Noonan also ran for two scores.

Coach Jeanmard said Chance Caire and Joe Feraci also ran well for his team.

Defensively, the Jags allowed 363 yards to St. Thomas.

Joe Feraci intercepted a pass. Besides Feraci, Jeanmard said Decatur Durel and Spencer Dean all played well.