Northlake beats Pine in nailbiter

Published 11:31 pm Friday, September 30, 2016

COVINGTON — Pine was unable to score points with the ball inside the 10 on three separate occasions and it ended up hurting the Raiders in a 22-17 loss to Northlake Christian School in a District 7-2A contest on the road Friday.

Two of the situations were fumble-related.

“Right before the half, I don’t know, we’ve got to be able to have situational football better than that,” Pine coach Bradley Seal said. “We’ve got to know what’s going on and be able to get a couple of plays off. There’s 15 seconds left and we got zero successful plays.”

Seal was referring to a first-and-goal situation at the Northlake 1, set up by a Chris Gordon interception return for about 53 yards. Pine was trailing 15-10 with a chance to grab the lead before the halftime break.

On first down, the Raiders ran a quarterback sneak, but got a penalty on that play, moving the ball to the 6. Pine spiked the ball on first-and-goal from the 6, stopping the clock with 11 seconds left. On second down, Northlake Christian came up with a sack and the clock ran out before the third-down play.

The Raiders got the ball to begin the second half, but were forced to punt. The Wolverines returned the punt to Pine’s 35, but a horse collar tackle moved it to the 20. On the drive’s seventh play, Wesley Brown scored on a 1-yard run. Clayton Gill’s extra point increased Northlake’s lead to 22-10.

The score stayed that way until late in the fourth quarter. Pine had the ball at third-and-2 from the 3. The Raiders fumbled backwards, but Pine’s Brendon Kelley recovered it and took it in for six. Christian Edwards hit the extra point, trimming the lead to 22-17 with 1:55 left in the game.

Pine tried an onsides kick, but Northlake recovered and ran out the clock.

The game got off to a good start for Pine. Northlake fumbled the opening kickoff and Logan Temples recovered for the Raiders at the Wolverines’ 28. That led to Jarwin Jordan scoring from the 6 and Edwards added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 8:04 left in the first period.

Northlake took the lead with 1:40 on the clock when Nicholas Martin-Morman ran in a 34-yard touchdown. Northlake Christian lined up to kick the extra point, but decided to go for two after a pair of offsides penalties on Pine. Martin-Morman ran in the two points and Northlake had an 8-7 lead.

It went to 15-7 on a Martin-Morman 61-yard run, following Gill’s extra point.

Edwards hit a 23-yard field goal with 1:45 left in the second quarter, and the teams went to halftime at 15-10.

But a missed opportunity from inside the 5 to end the half, a turnover on a fumble at the Northlake 7 to end the third, and a lost fumble at Northlake’s 9 in the fourth proved costly in the 22-17 loss.

Pine (3-2, 0-2 in District 7-2A) is back in action Friday to play against district opponent Archbishop Hannan. Hannan lost to St. Helena College & Career Academy, 46-0, Friday.