Pine goes against Pearl River tonight

Published 7:36 am Friday, September 2, 2016

The regular season is here.

At Pine tonight, the Raiders will be facing off against the Pearl River Rebels.

“There’s a lot of excitement this week,” Pine coach Bradley Seal said. “I just want us to go out and get a win. It counts now. It’s very important for us to get off to a 1-0 start.”

Pine got off to a tough start last year with some close losses early on, including the matchup against Pearl River, a 20-19 defeat. The Raiders ended up going 2-7 in the regular season before losing in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Raiders come into tonight’s action after falling to Albany, 21-0, in the jamboree, which took place at Pine.

Seal said he likes the way quarterback Joey Seal is running the offense. Last week, the signal caller ran for 60 yards.

“He’s just needs to eliminate some mistakes in the passing game and not be as careless with the football in trying to throw it into such tight spaces. But overall, I’ve liked the way he’s run the offense,” coach Seal said.

Defensively, he said that inside linebacker Hunter Temples has looked good the last two weeks.

“He started last year, but I think the experience has paid off this year,” Seal said. “He’s playing like somebody who has experience. He’s built off that experience and has started off strong.”

Pearl River comes in after falling to Northshore, 21-0, in the Slidell Jamboree.

Last season, the Rebels posted a 4-6 record.

The quarterback is sophomore Rickey Jessup, who will be starting his first regular season game. Fellow sophomore Justin Dean started last year, but suffered a broken collarbone in the team’s Red-White game, and is out at least through week four.

“Rickey is just a young kid, who is a fairly athletic kid, who we pretty much told him that you do what you’ve got to do in these situations,” Pearl River coach Mike Labourdette said.

The running backs are Courtney Moore, Austin Stodard, Matthew Elsensohn and Jacob Guedimin. Guedimin is the only returning starter of the group.

The team’s leading receiver is Al Dauth.

“He’s returning for us. He’s going to have to make some plays for us to be successful,” Labourdette said. “In the passing game, we’re going to have to make the most out of those opportunities when we do them. It’s not something we do a whole lot, but when we do it, we have to make the most out of it.”

On the line, the Rebels have three returning starters in tackle Dalton Hoover, center Joseph Ohlenforst and tackle Nicholas Howell.

The top defenders are free safety Elsensohn, strong safety Cameron Hart, and defensive linemen Mike Mitchell and Ray Gaudin.