Big 2nd half propels Pine to victory

Published 10:59 pm Friday, September 7, 2018

Pine took an 8-0 lead to halftime, but then outscored Varnado 22-6 in the second half in a 30-6 victory over the Wildcats at home Friday.

Both defenses were solid throughout the first half, keeping the game close as the offenses were unable to get the ball in the end zone for the first quarter and most of the second.

Pine broke the scoreless game when Jaheim Williams, who ran for 31 yards, tallied the first of his two touchdowns on a 4-yard run with 3:37 left in the second period. Markell Cotton added the two-point conversion and the Raiders were up 8-0 and maintained that margin through halftime.

The Raiders came out in the second half with touchdowns on their first two possessions. The key was the Raiders’ running game that was led by freshman Adrianuen Johnson, who ran for 78 yards and a touchdown.

“They’re really, really good on defense,” Pine coach Bradley Seal said of Varnado. “They are very, very talented. But yeah, I think we kind of wore them out, which last week, kind of the same thing, we’re in shape, we’re playing well late in games.”

Seal said the offensive line started getting some push and said that Johnson started running really well.

The Raiders took the second half kickoff 60 yards in eight plays and used up 5:12 on the clock. Johnson powered his way into the end zone on a 9-yard run to make it 16-0 after Cotton ran in the two-point conversion.

After Varnado punted, Pine scored on the next possession when Williams tallied from the 4. Williams then added the two-point conversion to make it 24-0 at the 3:07 mark of the third quarter.

Varnado coach Anthony Hicks said his team put the defense in difficult situations.

“We put the defense on the field too long,” Hicks said. “Defense played great first half. You can’t leave the defense on the field that long. Offense has to find out what we got to do. We can’t leave the defense on the field that long.”

Varnado came back quickly on the ensuing possession and scored on its first play from scrimmage. Zantonio Peters ran left, broke outside and ran free up the sideline for a 70-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion was no good, keeping it a 24-6 game with 2:41 to go in the third.

Pine added a touchdown late in the fourth quarter when Ricardo Handy scored from the 1 with 1:01 left. The two-point conversion was no good, and the final score was 30-6.

Pine improved to 2-0 while Varnado fell to 0-2.

Both teams will be back in action at home Friday.

The Raiders will play Pearl River on Friday and Varnado will face off against St. Helena College and Career Academy.

Varnado’s Caleb Allen catches a pass and attempts to elude a defender in Friday’s game against Pine.