Pine heads to St. Thomas Aquinas

Published 5:08 am Friday, November 4, 2016

Pine’s Raiders close out the regular season tonight by traveling to St. Thomas Aquinas to play the Falcons in a District 7-2A contest.

Pine enters tonight after a tough 19-18 loss to Pope John Paul II. The Raiders led that game, 18-0, late in the third quarter, when the Jaguars made a big comeback.

Pine coach Bradley Seal said he thinks his team has responded well. He said you just have to move on from a game like that.

“We have another big district game and we’ve had a good week of preparation,” Seal said.

In last week’s game, Chris Gordon continued to play solidly. He caught six passes for 139 yards, including a 32-yard scoring pass from Joey Seal. Seal threw for 139 yards and the touchdown.

Coach Seal said Gordon played as well as he could, both offensively and defensively.

Jakyran Handy ran for 67 yards and a touchdown. He’s now up to 899 yards rushing with 18 touchdowns. He also has one receiving score.

Raydarrius Robertson also scored a touchdown for the Raiders last week.

Pine begins this week with a 5-3 record overall record, and 2-3 record in district play. The Raiders are 11th in the unofficial LHSAA Class 2A power rankings.

St. Thomas Aquinas won last year’s game, 49-0.

The Falcons enter tonight’s game at 3-6 overall and 3-2 in district.

Last week, they lost to St. Helena College & Career Academy, 47-0. St. Helena is 8-1 overall, and has allowed a total of 20 points in eight games played this season. Their opener was a forfeit win over Amite.

St. Thomas Aquinas is 16th in the unofficial LHSAA Division III power rankings.

“It’s an important week,” St. Thomas coach John White said. “We need a win to make the playoffs. If we lose, I’m pretty sure we’ll be out.”

Quarterback Tyler Finley has thrown for 674 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions.

The team’s top running back is Brad Lewis, who has run the ball 103 times for 603 yards (5.8 yards per carry) with six touchdowns.

Wide receiver Jaylen Jackson enters with 32 receptions for 476 yards (14.8 yards per catch) and six touchdowns.

Also at running back are Jacob Bordok and Preston Richardson.

St. Thomas’ top defenders include linebackers Luke Dibenedetto and T.J. Jackson, along with Michael Dixon.