Varnado and Pine battle for 2-0 record in Pine

Published 4:03 pm Friday, September 12, 2014

A pair of local teams meet up in Pine tonight with the Raiders hosting the Varnado Wildcats.

Both clubs are looking to reach the 2-0 mark after they were victorious in lopsided fashion last week.

Pine downed Pearl River, 42-7, and Varnado rolled past Dexter of Mississippi, 36-6.

The Raiders won last year’s contest 43-6.

Pine is not listed in the top 10 of the Class 2A poll by the Louisiana Sports Writers, but the Raiders one the teams that are in the other receiving votes area.

Varnado coach Scott Shaffett said his team has a tough week ahead.

“We’ve got a very good Pine team that has a special individual in number four Derrick Dillon,” Shaffett said. “He reminds of someone else who wore red, white and blue in Superman. Not only do they have Superman, they also have number two Devonta Pigott, number seven Tory Robertson and number 21 Adarrius Berry. They have a huge offensive line and nobody’s ever stopped their offense from putting up a lot of points.”

Dillon, a University of Florida commitment at wide receiver, has proven to be a special player.

Last year, Dillon, Pine’s quarterback, ran for 2,434 yards and 12.4 per attempt to go with 33 touchdowns.

He also threw for 903 yards and seven TDs.

Dillon’s senior season got off to a great start last week, as he ran for 201 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns, while throwing for 150 yards on 10-of-18, and three scores.

His touchdown throws went to Pigott, Logan Wood and Nick Sapp.

Pigott caught four passes for 84 yards.

Robertson ran for 94 yards on just five carries last week.

Defensively last week, the Raiders Chris Gordon intercepted a pass.

Rion Terrell recovered a fumble. Tyrais Robinson led the Raiders in tackles with eight.

The only negative for Pine was penalties. The Raiders were flagged 14 times for 147 yards against Pearl River.

“We’re happy with the way we played on offense and defense, but the thing we need to work on this week is penalties,” Pine coach Bradley Seal said.

“We just talked about being a more disciplined team, staying on blocking instead of holding,” Seal said.

Seal said being in open space, the line was holding instead of moving their feet.

Switching over to the Wildcats, coach Shaffett said his team is coming into this week with a lot of confidence.

“We’re playing well and eliminating mistakes,” Shaffett said.

“Ball security is a big issue with us. We have to hang on to the ball, and avoid the turnovers. Up to this point, we’ve done that.”

Varnado runs the ball with a lot of players. Last week, the Wildcats finished with 174 rushing yards on 24 carries (7.2 per attempt) and James Williams completed a pass to Delrick Abrams for 41 yards.

“We mixed the ball up,” Shaffett said. “Delrick Abrams, Travon Stokes and Will Gray all had good ballgames. We mixed up who was getting the ball to keep them off balance.”

The Wildcats ran 27 plays last week with just one going for negative yardage, which was a three-yard loss.

Varnado’s offense received good field position because of their defensive play, led by Travon Stokes’ nine tackles, and the special teams.

The Wildcats blocked three punts with LeShon Whitson blocking two and Blake Fornea getting the other.

After tonight’s contest, Pine hits the road to face Bogalusa in its final non-district game of the regular season, while Varnado is back on the road to play Jewel Sumner.