Johnson leads Pine rushing attack in victory

Published 11:06 pm Friday, November 15, 2019

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Pine got down 7-0 early, but a game-tying kickoff return on the Raiders’ next possession began a 21-point run on the way to a 54-29 Class 2A state playoff victory over Port Barre at home Friday.

The Raiders’ running game was solid throughout, led by Adrianuen Johnson’s 186-yard, one touchdown night.

Port Barre got on the board first when Evan Hatten connected with Luke Leger on a 64-yard touchdown pass to make it 7-0 after Terrol Roberts’ extra point with 6:59 to go in the first quarter.

Pine tied the game just 15 seconds later when Nikki Lee returned the ensuing kickoff about 65 yards and Colton Graves split the uprights on the extra point to make it 7-7. It was the first of two special teams touchdowns for Pine.

“Nikki’s kickoff was big for us,” Pine coach Bradley Seal said. “We kind of came out a little flat and his kickoff kind of got us going and they made some big plays too. I was kind of worried about their offense the whole week.”

Pine took over at its 8 following a punt, and on the drive’s sixth play, Johnson took a first down carry from his 41 and broke free, taking it to the end zone on a 59-yard score to complete a 92-yard drive. Graves hit the extra point, giving Pine its first lead at 14-7 with 2:15 to go in the first quarter. Johnson scored again later on a punt return.

“I think we did pretty good on the run,” Johnson said, concerning Pine’s running game. “We got our starting running back Jaheim (Williams) back. We did pretty good. My offensive line is doing great. I’m thankful for my line. I can’t do it without them.”

The Raiders got back on the scoreboard at the 8:56 mark of the second quarter when Logan Temples connected with Jordan Anderson on a 25-yard touchdown pass. Graves’ extra point gave Pine a 21-7 lead.

Temples threw for 112 yards and touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown. Anderson caught four passes for 76 yards and score.

Port Barre trimmed the deficit back to a touchdown on Hatten’s sneak from the 1. Terrol’s extra point was good, making it 21-14 at the 7:02 mark of the second quarter.

Pine came right back and retook a two-touchdown lead when Williams took it in from the 1. Graves hit the extra point for a 28-14 halftime lead. In the game, Williams ran for 59 yards.

Pine extended the margin to 20 after returning the second-half kickoff 66 yards and later scoring on Temples sneak from the 1. The extra point snap was high and the Raiders could not get the kick off, but led 34-14 with 8:33 left.

Joseph Pickney brought Port Barre closer when he returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown. Terrol made the extra point and Pine’s lead was down to 34-21 at the 8:15 mark of the third quarter.

But Pine pushed the lead back to three touchdowns with Ricardo Handy getting the call and the touchdown on first-and-goal from the 5. Johnson ran it in for two and the Raiders were up 42-21 with five minutes to go.

Pine’s defense forced a turnover when Aurdrlique Dural recorded a sack and a forced fumble that was picked up and returned by Jon’Kez Dillon to Port Barre’s 44, where the Raiders began the fourth quarter.

The Raiders scored the first two touchdowns of the fourth quarter. The first came on Handy’s 1-yard run with 8:51 left.

Then Johnson caught a punt at about Port Barre’s 47 and ran up the left sideline for a score. The first extra point attempt was blocked, but a second one was good by Graves for a 54-21 lead at the 6:20 mark.

The game’s final touchdown came when Hatten and Leger connected on a 26-yard touchdown and then the two connected for the two-point conversion with 3:33 on the clock.

Pine ran out the clock to advance in the playoffs.

The Raiders will host No. 10 Avoyelles in the second round next Friday night. Avoyelles defeated No. 23 St. Helena College and Career Academy, 32-14, in the first round.

Pine’s Jordan Anderson catches a touchdown pass from Logan Temples in Friday’s game. Anderson had four catches for 76 yards.