Pine looking to bounce back from loss last week

Published 2:10 pm Friday, October 10, 2014

Pine is back in action tonight and takes to the road before its bye week to face Pope John Paul II in a District 7-2A match up in Slidell.

Pine (3-2, 1-1), which is 15th in power points for Class 2A, fell short last week to St. Thomas Aquinas 42-34.

The Raiders were unable to score on two possessions after trailing 34-28.

“It was tough,” Pine coach Bradley Seal said. “We know that in this district, we have to show up and by Monday move onto the next week.”

Pine quarterback Derrick Dillon threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns, while running for 120 yards and three scores.

“He threw the ball well,” Seal said. “He’s still not 100 percent from the ankle. They tried to take away his running, but he threw the ball well.”

This season, Dillon is 36-for-79 (45.5 percent) for 702 yards, with nine touchdowns and seven interceptions.

He’s also run the ball 82 times for 765 yards (9.3 per carry) and eight scores.

Dillon’s passing touchdowns went to Blake Nielsen for 65 yards and Devonta Pigott on a 36-yarder.

Pigott this season has 11 catches for 344 yards and five touchdowns.

Defensively, Seal said tackle Seth Brown and outside linebacker Matt Stuart played well last week.

“Seth the last couple of weeks has done a good job of getting a pass rush on the quarterback, and I thought Matt played a good game in every aspect last week,” Seal said.

Pine struggled a little against the run last week, as Falcons quarterback Cameron Dantzler and fullback Ralph Haynes combined for 336 rushing yards and five scores last week.

Pope John Paul II (1-4, 0-2), which is 13th in power points for Division III and lost to Archbishop Hannan, 17-14, in overtime last week, is a team that likes to run the football.

The Jaguars enter with 985 ground yards on 199 attempts (4.9 per carry) and seven touchdowns, led by quarterback Chance Caire’s 591 yards on 102 carries (5.8) and five scores.

The running backs are Connor Maples and Chris Brown. First-year coach Daryl Thomas said sometimes they alternate, and other times, they’ll be in the game at the same time.

“Connor is more of a running type of back and Chris is more of a power back,” Thomas said.

Maples is the team’s second-leading rusher with 256 yards on 58 attempts (4.4) and a score.

Sam Ybos, who is out with an injury, has 134 yards on 24 attempts (5.6) and a touchdown.

The wideouts are Ian Readeau, Andrew Arata and Wesley Wharton.

Arata is one of two Bogalusa residents playing for PJP. The other is his brother Will.

Will Arata has caught three passes for 49 yards and a touchdown. He’s also made 15 tackles to go with four sacks. He’s also averaging 30.7 yards over 11 punts with a long of 53.

Andrew Arata begins tonight with two receptions for three yards, and he’s been in on nine stops. He also has 15 kickoffs with a touchback and a 26.2-yard per punt average in six attempts with a long of 41.

Andrew Arata has also connected on 3-of-4 extra points and 1-of-3 field goals. The one he made was a 30 yarder.

“Andrew does multiple things for us,” Thomas said. “He is not only one of our receivers, he’s our kicker. He also plays defense for us at either cornerback or linebacker. He expands our defense because of all of the things he can do. He’s like a utility guy for us because he plays offense, defense and he’s our kicker on special team.”

Thomas said Will Arata is similar to his brother, adding that Will plays tight end, defense end and punter.

“Will is one of our leaders on defense,” Thomas said.

“Last week he had four sacks against Hannan. When he’s able to pin his ears back, he really makes a difference at defensive end. At tight end, he does a good job of blocking when we run outside. Last week, he caught a touchdown pass from the tight end spot. He’s very versatile and really helps this team out.”

Brady Crockett is the club’s leading tackler with 32.