Pine gets rolling late in 1st quarter in victory over Northlake Christian School

Published 3:17 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2017

COVINGTON — The game started sloppy between Pine and Northlake Christian School on Friday night, but the Raiders’ defense hung tough and the offense got going toward the end of the first quarter and never really stopped on the way to a 28-6 District 10-2A road win.
Both offenses struggled over the game’s first 8 minutes, 40 seconds.
Pine’s defense was solid all the way through. The Wolverines’ only score came on a big run in the third quarter.
The Raiders won the toss and elected to defer. Northlake Christian moved the ball from its own 16 to Pine’s 44. On second-and-3, Brendon Kelley and Hunter Temples got to the quarterback. He fumbled and Temples recovered.
Pine went three-and-out. The snap to the punter was low. He had to dive on the ball and Northlake Christian had good field position at Pine’s 31. A 2-yard loss, followed by an incompletion and then a sack by Zavier Elzie, pushed the ball back to the 40. The Wolverines were forced to punt, but the kick went out of bounds at Pine’s 37.
The Raiders offense went three-and-out and Northlake Christian set up at the 25. The defender forced them back 3 yards. The Wolverines brought out the punting unit, but the snap over the punter’s head squirted out of the end zone for a safety just before anybody could dive on it. Pine led 2-0 with 3:20 left.
Markell Cotton returned the free kick 36 yards to Northlake Christian’s 32 and then the offense began to get going, as the Raiders scored in six plays. Jakyran Handy had runs of 6 yards and 3 yards to begin the drive. Quarterback Joey Seal ran for 3 to pick up the first down. Handy gained 3 and Seal picked up 4 more. On third-and-3 from the 12, Handy ran up the middle and scored on the final play of the first quarter to make it 8-0 after the two-point conversion was unsuccessful. Handy ran for 109 yards. This season, he has 701 yards rushing and eight touchdowns.
Pine forced a punt and took over at its own 44. On the first play, Seal and Damarea Odom connected for the first of two touchdowns between the two players. This one went for 56 yards. Odom converted the two-point conversion and it was 16-0 with 6:23 remaining in the second quarter.
Seal threw for 112 yards and two touchdowns. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard passing mark for the season, and is currently at 1,030 passing yards with 11 touchdowns. Odom had three catches for 106 yards. Odom is up to nine receptions for 231 yards receiving and 202 yards rushing with three touchdowns.
The Raiders forced a turnover-on-downs at the Wolverines’ 48. On third-and-one from the 34, Seal went back to Odom for another touchdown. This one went for 34 yards. The two-point conversion was no good and it stayed 22-0 at halftime.
“The first couple drives, we didn’t come out too good, but after we got to rolling, we got to rolling,” Pine quarterback Joey Seal said. “We couldn’t run the ball really that well early on, so the dump pass worked out good for us.”
Pine punted on the opening drive of the second half. Northlake Christian took over at its 16. Michael Morman gained 16 yards on the first play and then ran up the left sideline on the second and took it 68 yards for a touchdown. Delvric Dillon blocked the extra point, keeping it a 22-6 game with 9:23 to go. Morman finished with 145 yards on the ground and has 1,016 yards rushing for the season with eight touchdowns.
Pine’s final score came early on the fourth quarter when Seal scored from the 2. The two-point attempt was no good, as Pine went on for the 28-6 victory.
Pine coach Bradley Seal said it took his team about a quarter to get going and said that the defense played really well.
“I think that the one guy (Morman) got one long run, but other than that, our defense played extremely well,” coach Seal said.
Dillon ran for 35 yards and has 459 yards on the ground this season with two touchdowns.
The win was Pine’s second victory in a row. The Raiders are 5-3 overall and 3-2 in district, and are ninth in the unofficial LHSAA Class 2A power rankings.
Pine will be back in action Friday night when the Raiders travel to St. Thomas Aquinas. St. Thomas is 4-4 overall and 3-2 in district.
St. Thomas Aquinas defeated Springfield 45-0 on Friday and has won two in a row. They are 11th in the unofficial LHSAA Division III power rankings.

Pine’s Zavier Elzie (13) and Drake Westmoreland (right) combine on a tackle during Friday’s road game against Northlake Christian School.