Pine going to Northlake Christian School tonight

Published 12:02 pm Friday, October 20, 2017

Pine takes to the road tonight, going for its second-straight win as the Raiders face Northlake Christian School in a District 9-2A contest at 7 p.m.
Pine enters this week with a 4-3 overall record and 2-2 record in district.
The Raiders are coming off of a 52-34 victory over Independence last week. Pine has alternated wins and losses this year.
Pine’s losses have been to Varnado, St. Helena College and Career Academy and Amite. All three teams are having solid seasons. Amite (7-0) is third in the unofficial LHSAA Class 2A power rankings. St. Helena (6-1) is seventh and Varnado (4-2) is second in the LHSAA Class 1A power rankings.
The Raiders begin this week ranked eighth in the LHSAA Class 2A power rankings.
Despite the 34 points scored by Independence, Pine coach Bradley Seal said Monday that his team’s defense played well. Independence had two long returns that set them up at the 10 and the 5, along with a pick-six.
Seal said the defense has improved of late.
“I think our defense the last three games has made good strides, especially in our linebacker play — it’s really improved,” Seal said
Offensively last week, the Raiders running game was solid, going for 434 yards.
Joey Seal ran for five touchdowns and gained 102 yards on the ground.
Jakyran Handy ran for 165 yards and two touchdowns.
Delvric Dillon put up 85 and Damarea Odom tallied 75.
This season, Handy has 592 yards rushing with seven touchdowns.
Seal enters with 291 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns. He has also thrown for 918 yards and nine touchdowns.
Odom starts the week at 281 yards and three touchdowns. He also has six receptions for 125 yards.
Dillon has 424 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Markell Cotton has tallied 14 catches for 400 yards and four touchdowns.
Jordan Anderson starts this week at 14 receptions for 305 yards and four touchdowns.
Northlake Christian School won last year’s game, 22-17.
“Pine’s very good,” Northlake Christian School coach Tony Agresta said. “Bradley Seal has done a great job over there. They’re playing well. Even in their losses, you can tell they’re doing a lot of things well.”
Northlake Christian, which has a lot of young talent, is having an unusual rough year for the program. The Wolverines are 2-5 overall this season and 1-3 in district after going 32-8 over the previous four regular seasons.
The team has lost three in a row. Last week, Northlake Christian lost to St. Thomas Aquinas, 52-31.
The Wolverines are 13th in the unofficial LHSAA Division III power rankings.
Northlake Christian has two quarterbacks in freshman Devon Tott and Nick Morman.
“(Tott) is talented and he makes strides each week, but at the end of the day, he’s 14 and he’s going to make some freshman mistakes,” Agresta said. “He’s talented and we’re looking for him to make strides week-to-week.”
This season, Tott has thrown for 316 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions.
Morman rarely leaves the field. He plays quarterback, running back and free safety.
“Very quiet, hard working kid that’s extremely talented,” Agresta said. “If you give him enough opportunities and you get a hat-on-a-hat, you can make plays. He plays safety. He rarely comes off the field and he never complains or says a discouraging work. He brings his ‘A’ game every Friday.”
This season, Morman has run for 880 yards on 135 carries and seven touchdowns. He has thrown for 127 yards and four interceptions. He has caught nine passes for 125 yards and a touchdown.
“They have a really good running back in Nick Morman. He had two long runs (34 and 61 yards) last year that changed the game. We have to go in there trying to stop him,” coach Seal said.
Wesley Brown also plays running back. Agresta said he is a “big play waiting to happen.” Agresta said his team would like to run the ball more, but with them trailing more than usual in the second half, they have had to throw more than they would like.
This season, Brown has 363 rushing yards on 52 carries and has scored five touchdowns.
The wide receivers are Poppie Duke, Kyle Lazaroe and Gage Dufrene.
Agresta said Duke is small, but has a “high football IQ.” Duke has nine catches for 75 yards this season.
The top defenders include Morman and inside linebacker Clay Thrasher. Agresta said Thrasher has had an outstanding year. He has 55 tackles and two blocked kicks this season.