Pine runs past PJP to clinch winning season

Published 9:16 am Sunday, November 4, 2012

By Kim D. Normand

Contributing Writer

Pine quarterback Derrick Dillon accounted for six of his team’s seven touchdowns, running, throwing and returning the ball to give his Raiders a season concluding 50-43 victory over District 8-2A opponent Pope John Paul II Friday at Lester Latino Field.

“My offensive line opened some holes and I ran through them, while my receivers made some good catches as well,” said Dillon. “Hopefully with this win (5-4, 2-3), we will make the playoffs,” added Dillon, who started last season as a receiver before moving to quarterback and safety this year.

First-year coach Bradley Seal said this is the best they’ve done in a while.

“What can you say about Derrick (Dillon) other than he was the difference? He is such a talent. Coaching didn’t have anything to do with his performance tonight,” Seal said.

Pine raced out to an early 16-0 lead as Dillon found senior split-end Tevin Causey on a 57-yard toss and then added the two-point run to put the Raiders on top 8-0 just 56 seconds in.

Two minutes later, Dillon increased the lead to 16-0 as he broke free on a 16-yard scamper and senior Demoreo Carter converted the two-point run.

The second score was set up by Causey picking off Jaguars’ senior quarterback Ryan Noonan on the Jags’ first offensive play.

The PJP (3-6, 1-4) defense tallied the Jaguars’ first points as a host of tacklers downed Dillon in the end zone for a safety, to cut the deficit to 16-2.

With just over a minute left in the first, Noonan carried the pigskin in from a yard out and senior kicker Joseph Mangano booted the point after to bring the tally to 16-9.

Sophomore tailback Chance Caire, who along with Noonan finished with 119 yards rushing, tied the score on a 24-yard burst. Mangano tacked on the extra-point to tie it 16-all, three minutes into the second.

Less than a minute later, Dillon hooked up with Carter, who out jumped two defenders and grabbed the ball from 56-yards out to put Pine back in front 22-16 as the two-point run attempt was stuffed.

Noonan, who passed for 121 yards and a couple of touchdowns, recorded his first scoring pass to junior receiver and return man Joe Feraci to knot the score at 22-22. The extra point was blocked and the score was tied with half of the second quarter remaining.

Dillon garnered his fourth score on a 64-yard dash. He then added the two-point conversion on a run to put his team ahead again 30-22 with just over a minute to go before intermission.

With 40 seconds remaining, Noonan found senior receiver Mark Mornay on an 11-yard pass to bring the score to 30-28. Noonan tried to tie it on a two-point pass, but it failed and the teams went into halftime with Pine on top by two.

Carter pushed the Raiders further ahead in the third with a 4-yard scoot. He failed to get the conversion on the same running play over the left side that had just resulted in a touchdown to put the Raiders ahead 36-28 with more than eight minutes remaining.

PJP II knotted it again as offensive lineman Sean O’Brien recovered a fumble and carried the rest of the way to make it 36-34. Caire’s two-point run re-tied it 36-36 at the midway point of the third.

Dillon returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards to put the Raiders back in front 42-36. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the Raiders ahead by six after three.

Five minutes into the fourth quarter Noonan scurried 12 yards and Mangano was true on the extra point kick to give the Jaguars their only lead, 43-42.

Dillon, who finished as the game’s leading rusher with 165 yards, also threw for 130. He brought the score to 50-43 on a 38-yard run, as well as converting the two-point run at the four-minute mark.

On the Jaguars’ next possession, senior two-way lineman Eddie Gabler recovered a PJP II fumble, its fifth, to give Pine the ball back. However, Feraci sacked Dillon causing him to cough up the football, which Feraci fell on to give the Jaguars a chance to either tie or win the tilt.

Noonan went 0-for-3 in the air and was sacked on third down as the Jaguars turned it over on downs. Pine ran out the clock to secure the win.

PJP II coach Mark Jeanmard said they had some breakdowns.

“We just couldn’t stop their quarterback, but hopefully, we were the 26th ranked 2A team coming into the game, so we will see what happens,” Jeanmard said.