Pine plays season opener at home tonight

Published 8:55 am Friday, September 1, 2017

The regular season begins tonight for Pine, as the Raiders are hosting Central Catholic with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
“This one counts for real,” Pine coach Bradley Seal said. “It’s the most important game of the season. Saturday, we’ll be either 1-0 or 0-1. All of our focus is on Central Catholic.”
Pine comes into this season after reaching the second round of the Class 2A playoffs last year.
Last week, the Raiders lost to host team Franklinton, 23-16, in the Washington Parish Jamboree.
Pine’s running game was solid last week.
The balanced attack had three players run for more than 50 yards. Jakyran Handy led the way with 77 yards and a touchdown. Joey Seal ran for 55 yards and threw for 35 yards. Delvric Dillon ran for 50 yards and a touchdown. Damarea Odom had 24 yards on the ground.
“It starts up front,” Seal said. “Our offensive line played really well. Probably the best offensive line since I’ve been here. Joey is playing as good as he can right now. He’s got a lot on him with making reads. Jakyran is a load and our wings are running and blocking as well as they can too.”
Central Catholic, which is located in Morgan City, enters this year after reaching the Division IV state semifinals, where the Eagles lost to Ascension Catholic, 31-21.
Central Catholic won its jamboree game, 20-12, over Centerville.
“It’s the first regular season game,” Central Catholic coach Tommy Minton said. “You always want to start the season on the right foot. More than anything, we look at our non-district schedule as an opportunity to prepare ourselves for district and the playoffs. We have a quality opponent this week that will push us to the limits and make us better.”
Central Catholic is a run-first team with Chris Singleton at running back. Singleton was an honorable mention all-state player last year. He ran for 1,500 yards and 26 touchdowns that included the postseason, despite missing three games with an injury.
“He runs hard and our offense runs through him,” Minton said.
The Eagles have three quarterbacks — Taylor Blanchard, Ryan Miller and Davidyione Bias — and they use them all to their strengths.
Defensively, the team runs a “50” front, Minton said.
The top defender is middle linebacker Cooper LeBlanc. Last season, he led the Eagles with 121 total tackles.