Pine suffers tough loss in the playoffs

Published 10:51 pm Friday, November 9, 2018

Pine had a 16-point lead, allowed 20 unanswered points, nearly retook the lead, but was called for offensive pass interference in a 36-32 heartbreaking loss to Independence in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs at home Friday.

The Raiders were up 32-16 through three quarters, but Independence was in the middle of a drive with third-and-goal at Pine’s 1. The Tigers’ DeAngelo Gaines snuck in for the score on the first play of the fourth. The two-point conversion was no good and Pine was up 32-22.

Independence got closer when Gaines hooked up with Ravorius Hampton on a 61-yard pass at the 4:53 mark. The two-point attempt was no good and the Raiders held a 32-28 lead.

Gaines continued having a big quarter. The Tigers began a drive at their 20 after a punt. Gaines rolled right, came back left and got free. He went 80 yards for the score and T.J. Harness converted the two-point attempt to give Independence a 36-32 lead with 2:51 on the clock.

Pine started the next drive at its 30 and moved the ball to Independence’s 24. Logan Temples completed a pass to Markell Cotton for the go-ahead touchdown, but the Raiders were called for offensive pass interference. The ball was moved back to the 39. Harness intercepted the pass on the following play and Independence ran out the final 1:42 for the win.

Independence coach Scott Shaffett praised Pine coach Bradley Seal and plenty of members of his team.

“I’ve got to give Bradley Seal credit because he’s one of the best coaches I’ve gone against in 25 years,” Shaffett said. “We told (our players) if we went into the fourth quarter within two scores, we’d have a shot to win the game. The fourth quarter has been our quarter all year. You’ve got to give DeAngelo Gaines credit because he had a huge, huge fourth quarter and you’ve give T.J. Harness credit because he got the interception to ice the game, and you’ve got to give the defense credit because they stepped up in the fourth quarter.”

Pine took a 20-8 lead at halftime.

The Raiders opened the scoring on the game’s initial drive when Adrianuen Johnson completed a 13-play, 75-yard drive with a 1-yard run and he converted for two to make it 8-0 with 6:29 left in the first quarter.

Independence tied the game when Harness ran 8 yards and Gaines hit Hampton for two points, ending a 14-play, 61-yard drive with 10:23 left in the first half.

Pine scored the final 12 points of the half. Johnson ran for 13 yards at the 6:45 mark and Temples connected with Jordan Anderson from 17 yards out with 15 seconds to go. Neither two-point conversion was good and it was 20-8 at halftime.

Pine forced and recovered a fumble on the second-half kickoff. Trent Barber recovered the fumble and the Raiders scored on third-and-goal from the 25 when Temples hit Anderson, who reached out to make the catch and score the touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, making it 26-8.

Independence tallied on the next possession’s first play with Gaines and Hampton connecting on a 57-yard touchdown pass. Gaines tallied the two for a 26-16 game.

Pine went up 32-16 when Jaheim Williams ran 15 yards to pay dirt. The two-point conversion was no good and it was 32-16 at the 1:47 mark of the third period.

It stayed that way until the fourth.

Ninth-seeded Pine finishes with a 7-4 record.

No. 24 Independence plays eighth-seeded Vidalia in the regional round.