Pine captures a share of the league title

Published 11:28 pm Friday, November 8, 2019

Pine scored 40 points in the first half, including two defensive touchdowns, and Drake Westmoreland helped break the game open with two straight scores in a 47-32 District 9-2A victory over Varnado to cap off the regular season Friday night at VHS.

“Our defense changes games, so when we play like this, we’re going to win the football game,” Westmoreland said.

Pine’s win, along with Kentwood’s 34-12 victory over Amite, means that Pine, Amite and Kentwood all share the District 9-2A title.

Pine, which only trailed once Friday night at 6-0, had a 21-12 lead through the first quarter, but broke game open about the halfway mark of the second period.

Varnado had driven from its own 1 to midfield when Westmoreland picked off a pass and took it back all the way for the score on a 55-yard return. Colton Graves hit the extra point to make it a 28-12 lead at the 6:28 mark.

Varnado fumbled on its next possession and Aurdrlique Dural recovered for Pine. On third-and-14, Logan Temples hooked up with Westmoreland, who took it up the right sideline and into the end zone for the touchdown. The extra point snap was fumbled, keeping it 34-12 with 4:53 to go.

“That was all about my lead blockers,” Westmoreland said about his offensive touchdown.

Pine coach Bradley Seal talked about his defense and his team’s performance.

“We had some big plays on defense that really helped us out — a fumble recovery and an interception for a touchdown. I’m proud of the way our guys handled themselves. They played really well,” Seal said.

Varnado kept things close early on during Senior Night.

The Wildcats scored on the game’s opening drive on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Kim McGowan Jr. to Trevin Haynes. The two-point conversion was no good, keeping it 6-0 with 8:41 left in the opening quarter. That was McGowan’s first of four touchdown passes, as he threw for 261 yards.

It was the beginning of high-scoring first quarter that saw 33 points go up on the board.

Pine tallied on its first offensive play of the game when Adrianuen Johnson took the handoff and ran up the right sideline for a 54-yard score and a 7-6 lead after Graves’ extra point at the 8:26 mark. Johnson ran for 155 yards.

Temples threw his first of two touchdowns when he connected with Jordan Anderson on a 36-yarder to make it 14-6 after Graves hit the extra point at the 4:46 mark. Temples also ran for a score.

Pine’s Larry Williams recovered a fumble in the end zone on the ensuing drive for a 21-6 advantage after Graves was good once again on the extra point. Like Westmoreland, Williams scored a touchdown offensively and defensively.

Varnado pulled back to within nine points, when McGowan hooked up with Christian Matthews on 4-yarder with 1:19 left for a 21-12 game after the two-point conversion was no good.

Pine opened the lead up with the next two touchdowns on Westmoreland’s pick-six and Temples’ touchdown pass to him.

It was 34-12 at the 4:53 mark.

Each team scored once more before halftime.

McGowan threw to Jaheim Hooks for a 34-yard score with 2:40 left. The two-point conversion was no good. It was Hooks’ first of three touchdown receptions.

Pine tallied with four seconds left when Temples threw to Williams from 4 yards out. The extra point was blocked, keeping it 40-18 at halftime.

The Raiders drove the second-half kickoff 56 yards and made it 47-18 on Temples’ 1-yard run, followed by Graves’ extra point with 8:04 left.

Varnado scored the game’s final 14 points with the McGowan to Hooks connection.

The first came with 4:05 left in the third and the next was with 12 seconds to go in the fourth. The first two-point attempt was no good while the second was successful when McGowan threw to Korterrius Mingo for two.

Varnado coach Milton Green praised his senior class, saying they put it all on the line Friday night and they planted that seed for future classes at Varnado.

“I told them seniors to go out with a bang and they did that. They laid that foundation down for our younger kids to realize and see what they’ve got to do everyday to get better,” Varnado coach Milton Green said. “Like I say, I’m so proud of my seniors for this year. They planted that seed for success for our years to come for our classes.

“Pine did a good job. Coach Seal got those boys well-coached and they’re going to make a long run in the playoffs this year.”

Pine finished the regular season at 7-3 overall and 4-1 in district play. Varnado finished 2-8 overall and 0-5 in district play.

 

DAILY NEWS PHOTO/Chris Kinkaid
Varnado’s Kim McGowan Jr. looks for a receiver in Friday’s home game.