Raiders going for 3-0 tonight

Published 7:58 am Friday, September 16, 2016

Pine takes to the road for the first time this season, as the Raiders travel to Independence and hope to improve to a 3-0 start.

“I think we’re playing well right now, but we’re just focused on playing Independence,” Pine coach Bradley Seal said. “This would be a big win for us if we could get it.”

Pine is coming off of a 14-13 win over Varnado.

The defense played well throughout the game. The only scoring drives they allowed were 12 and 30 yards.

“That’s the best defensive game I’ve seen since I’ve here. The entire defense, I can’t give a name because they all played so well,” Seal said.

Offensively, running back Jakyran Handy continued his great start to the season. He ran for 154 yards and an 80-yard touchdown, bringing his total to 269 rushing yards with eight touchdowns. He has another touchdown receiving.

“He’s played extremely well, probably as good as he could play. He’s off to a great start,” Seal said. “He’s been consistent as far as being able to hit the big play.”

Quarterback Joey Seal had Pine’s first touchdown on a 1-yard run.

Independence won last year’s matchup, 42-6.

The Tigers come in with a 1-1 record after suffering a 48-0 loss to St. Helena College & Career Academy last week.

“It’s going to be a big game for us,” Independence coach Keith Carona said. “I thought we played really well the first game against Springfield (28-18 win), but we just didn’t play very well last week. We had a couple of special teams mistakes that got us behind the eight ball and we never could find our way out.

“Pine is a really good team. They do things that hurt you. They throw it well when they want to and run that veer dive option offense. You can tell they’ve been in it for a while and that they’re more experienced at it now. They played good against Varnado.

“They controlled the line of scrimmage. They have a good mixture of size and physicalness and they’ve got guys that can run on both sides of the ball.”

De’Angelo Gaines is the quarterback. Independence has three running backs in Michael Tanner, Shabazz Holden and Anthony McClain.

Stephan Jackson plays all over the field, including linebacker, running back wide receiver and quarterback.

“He’s a special athlete that does a lot of things for us,” Carona said. “He plays on both sides of the ball. We’re giving him more of a role on the offensive side of the ball. He did really well against Springfield in week one.”