Pine facing Independence in Thursday spring game

Published 10:47 am Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pine football takes to the road tomorrow evening for its spring football game against Independence, as the Raiders’ faithful have a chance to get a preview of the upcoming season’s team.
The action gets under way at 6:30 p.m.
Pine coach Bradley Seal, who enters his third season with the Raiders, said the main thing he’s looking at is the improvement they made on defense from last season.
Pine averaged 34 points a game in 2013, but opponents scored 32 points against them over the 11 games.
The Raiders scored 30 or more points six times and allowed 30 or more six.
“I’m happy with what we have done on defense for this week,” Seal said Friday. “We have a lot of competition, which is good.”
Seal said his club has worked tackling everyday at practice.
“We’ve put a real big emphasis on tackling and just getting back to the basics of football,” Seal said. “If you can’t tackle, you’re not going to win too many games.”
Seal said he wants to see his offense look sharp and avoid penalties, avoid dropped passes and not miss blocking assignments.
Seal said they’re really excited about the spring game.
“I don’t think these kids have ever played Independence and it’s just good to get somebody new. You’re out here banging heads against the same people everyday and it can get kind of monotonous.”
Pine is coming off of a 4-7 season and qualified for the Class 2A playoffs, as the No 23 seed. The Raiders nearly upset 10th seeded Rosepine in the bi-district round, but lost a heartbreaker 51-50.
Rosepine lost to seventh-seeded Vinton 41-14 in the regionals.
Independence is coming off of a tough season that saw the Tigers finish with a 1-9 record.