Pine comes back to defeat Kentwood

Published 3:25 pm Friday, October 25, 2019

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By John Glover
The Daily News

The Pine High School Raiders came back from trailing 13 points to the defending Class 1A state champion Kentwood High School Kangaroos, pulling out the District 9-2A victory in the second half, 31-26.
“They are one of the best teams in the state,” Pine coach Bradley Seal said. “We spotted them 13 points, then got down to playing Raider football one play at a time and did what we came to do.”
Kentwood had the first possession of the game and made good use of it with a quick three-play drive. From midfield, Kangaroo quarterback Otis Elzy completed a pass to Cornelius Dyson at the Kentwood 45. Dyson had a clear path to the end zone and put the first six points on the board. The extra point was good and the score went to 7-0 less than a minute into the game.
With less than three minutes in the first quarter left, Elzy passed from the Raiders’ 5-yard-line to Jerryon Nichols in the end zone for a second Kangaroo touchdown. The extra point was blocked and the score went to 13-0 in favor of Kentwood.
At the start of the second quarter, the Raiders began to rally. The comeback began with a 10-play drive downfield, which ended with a handoff from Raider quarterback Logan Temples to Jaheim Williams from the 1-yard line for the touchdown. Colton Graves was prefect with his extra point kick and the score moved to 13-7.
The Kangaroos weren’t ready to give up their lead and Elzy led the Kangaroos to another touchdown with a handoff to Nichols shortly after. The extra point fell short and the score was 19-7 with two minutes left in the half.
The Raiders pushed downfield against a tough Kangaroo defense. With seconds left in the half, Graves kicked a field goal 17 yards right up the middle to put the score at 19-10 at halftime.
A renewed group of Raiders came back out onto the field in the third quarter. The Pine defense limited the Kentwood offense to eight plays in two possessions in the third. Temples led the offense to another two touchdowns. The first came after a 13-play drive, when Temples handed off to Adrianuen Johnson from the 3. Graves kicked the extra point and the score was cut to 19-17 in favor of Kentwood.
Then, with less than a minute in the quarter, Temples handed off to Ricardo Handy from within the 5-yard line. Handy broke through for the touchdown. The Raiders added a two-point conversion on a handoff to Drake Westmoreland and took the lead, 25-19.
At the top of the fourth quarter, the Raiders’ defense forced a turnover on downs by the Kangaroos. Back in possession, the Raiders drove it back.
Temples handed off to Westmoreland at the 7. Westmoreland pushed through a host of Kangaroo defenders and put another touchdown on the board. The two-point conversation run was stopped short and the score went to 31-19 with two and a half minutes on the clock.
Elzy and the Kangaroos came back hard, and after a quick push downfield, Elzy pushed through to the end zone with a quarterback keep. Dyson kicked and made the extra point with a minute left on the clock but Pine continued to lead, 31-26.
It all came down to the Kangaroos’ onside kick attempt. The kick was legal and within range, but it was caught by Johnson who went down and kept possession for Pine. The Raiders were able to run out the clock and win, 31-26.
Pine improved to 6-2 overall this season and 3-0 in district. This was the Raiders’ fifth-straight victory. Pine will be on the road next Friday against defending Class 2A state champion Amite.
Kentwood, which won the Class 1A state title last season and entered the week eighth in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Poll, fell to 4-4 overall and 2-1 in league play.