Pine’s defense strong in victory

Published 1:11 pm Friday, October 19, 2018

Defense was the name of the game on Thursday for both teams, as Pine defeated Northlake Christian School, 7-0, in District 9-2A action at Pine.
Both offenses struggled to move the ball, as the defenses came to the forefront. Pine had 221 yards to Northlake Christian’s 131. Each defense forced five punts, two turnovers and three 3-and-outs.
“Our defense is always strong,” Pine outside linebacker Dakota Brooks said. “We’re always getting better every week. There’s not a lot to say about our defense. We’re good up front. We have little issues here-and-there, but we’ve got to be more disciplined than what we are right now. We’ve got to come out next week; we can’t jump offsides on hard counts. Our defense is strong overall.”
Pine had two good chances to score in the first half after Jonkez Dillon recovered a fumble at Northlake Christian School’s 17 halfway through the first quarter and a Wolverines’ punt was downed at Northlake Christian School’s 37.
Pine moved the ball into the red zone both times, but the Wolverines’ defense forced a turnover on downs and they recovered a fumbled snap.
The game was scoreless at halftime.
Pine scored the game’s only points in the third quarter.
The Raiders had a third-and-10 from their own 9. That’s when Markell Cotton made a highlight catch.
Logan Temples threw a pass to Cotton. Cotton went and got the ball, basically taking it away from a defender at about the 40. Cotton somehow stayed on his feet and was not caught until he reached Northlake Christian School’s 17 on the 74-yard play.
“Really, the last two weeks, he’s made some plays, that really, he’s probably the only person on the field who can make the play, and that probably won us the game tonight,” Pine coach Bradley Seal said.
A penalty on first down pushed Pine back to the 29, and on second-and-22, Temples connected with Jordan Anderson, who went in for the touchdown. Brooks hit the extra point to give Pine a 7-0 lead.
After that, the defenses continued their strong play.
Northlake Christian punted early in the fourth quarter with a fourth-and-7 from their 40, but a low snap went past the punter. However, Pine roughed the punter and the Wolverines had a first down at Pine’s 45. The Wolverines moved the ball to the 5, keyed by a 33-yard pass from Jaden McCall to Christian Weaver, followed by a penalty on the Raiders that made it first-and-goal from the 6.
The Wolverines gained two and then lost one for third down at the 5. Pine held Northlake Christian School to no gain on a run, followed by an incompletion on fourth down, and the Raiders took over with 7:09 left in regulation.
From there, Pine allowed the Wolverines to run just one play for the rest of the game. The offense ran five plays before punting on fourth down from the 31. The Wolverines took over at their own 33 with 3:38 left. Brooks came up big on the first play and intercepted a pass that was deflected by Larry Williams with 3:29 to go. Pine gave the ball to Jaheim Williams three times and he picked up 13 yards in the three attempts. Temples knelt out the clock to preserve the 7-0 victory.
Pine improved to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in district play. The Raiders will be back in action Friday in a home game against St. Thomas Aquinas.

Pine’s Adrianuen Johnson attempts to break a tackle in Friday’s game against Northlake Christian School.