Pine opens District 7-2A play tonight at home

Published 7:50 am Friday, September 23, 2016

Pine’s Raiders begin District 7-2A play tonight by hosting St. Helena College & Career Academy.

“First district game — it’s a big one against a tough opponent,” Pine coach Bradley Seal said. “We’d like to start off 1-0. It’s a competitive district, so anytime you can get a win it’s big.”

Both teams come into tonight’s game with a 3-0 record.

Pine was victorious over Independence last week, 33-12.

The Raiders’ defense has been solid the last two weeks, allowing just 25 points during that period.

“Last week, we forced three turnovers and blocked a punt,” Seal said. “I’m just really pleased right now with how our defense is playing.”

In last week’s game, Colby Powell, Donovan Kreyssig, Brendon Kelley and Tate Roach all had a sack. Kelley also blocked a punt.

Rion Terrell intercepted two passes. Jarwin Jordan blocked a punt.

Seal said that offensively, Jordan and Delvric Dillon had strong games, as both had key runs during the contest.

Dillon ran for 35 yards while Jordan posted 30.

Jakyran Handy has been solid all year. On Friday night, he picked up another 90 yards and three touchdowns. He enters tonight’s game with 359 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. He also has a receiving touchdown.

Seal said his offensive line would be challenged this week.

“I think this is the best defense we’ve played all year. Defensively, I think if we tackle the ball carrier, we’ll be ok,” Seal said.

St. Helena is one of the teams receiving votes in Class 2A by the Louisiana Sports Writers’ Association. St. Helena won last year’s game, 32-21.

“I’ve just real impressed with my guys and how they work,” St. Helena fourth-year coach Brandon Brown said. “One thing I use for a motto here is ‘brick-by-brick.’ This is a special senior class. I’ve been with them since the beginning. One thing I promised them was that I’d be here until the their senior year. We’ve been building this thing brick-by-brick.

“One of the things that worried me early on was the hype we were getting, but they’ve taken it as motivation to show people that they deserved the hype. They worked really hard this summer and are ready to show what they can do.”

Like Pine, St. Helena is 3-0. The Hawks have played two games and have not allowed a point, with victories over Independence, 48-0, and Cohen College Prep, 42-0. Their opening week was a win by forfeit over Amite.

The quarterback is Ricky Travis, who is a three-year starter.

The running back position is by committee, with three players seeing most of the carries. Jeremy Griffin is the primary back; Aaron Hurst also plays middle linebacker and moves around the offense; and Troy Hurst also moves the field a lot.

Brown said two younger players — Cory LeBlanc and Tyler Wilson — have also been impressive.

The wide receivers include Arnold Strawder, Devin Taylor and Michael Martin.

Brown said his top defenders are strong safety Demetrius Brown and free safety Damien Morgan.

He also said sophomore defensive tackle/offensive lineman O’Cyrus Torrence (6-foot-5, 360 pounds) is one of his top defenders.