Pine ends outstanding 2019 football season

By DAMON SMITH,

(Update) Pine fell to Many in the 3rd round of the state playoffs Friday night, bringing to an end its historic 2019 season. Making the quarterfinals for the first time in school history, the Raiders represented Pine and the parish well, and they can be proud of their effort throughout the season. Look for complete details in the week's (Dec. 4) edition of The Era-Leader.

Original article: The Pine Raiders football team made history last Friday as they defeated the Avoyelles Mustangs 35-20 at home in front of a raucous crowd. With the win the Raiders --- for the first time in school history --- will move into the third round of the playoffs. The Raiders will play the Many Tigers, the #2 seed in class 2A. Raiders Coach Bradley Seal said the Raiders had to overcome some adversity to win the game. "I'm so proud of our team. They (Avoyelles) come at you and set the tempo of the game. They were more physical. They were winning the line of scrimmage. But as the game went on, we took over. We became more physical. Our defensive line and outside linebackers get a lot of credit." Of the Raiders next opponent Coach Seal said, "Next week is a challenge. Many is a great football program." The Mustangs opened the game in exciting fashion as they scored a 68 yard touchdown on the first offensive play of the game. Their two point conversion was no good and the Mustangs were up 6-0 with on 19 seconds gone in the game. The Raiders answered on their ensuing possession as Drake Westmoreland scored a 51 yard touchdown on the Raiders first offensive play. The extra point was good and the Raiders took the lead 7-6 with only thirty second gone in the game. The Mustangs then used a long drive to score on a 4 yard run with 4:52 on the clock to go back ahead. Their two point conversion attempt was stuffed by the Raiders and the score was 12-7 in favor of the Mustangs. Avoyelles, as they did all game long, attempted an onside kick but Adrianuen Johnson picked the ball on a bounce and returned it for a Raider touchdown. The extra point was successful and the Raiders were up 14-12. Avoyelles again used a long, time consuming drive to score and go ahead 20-14 with 11:55 left in the second quarter as their two point conversion was good this time. The Raiders offense then came onto the field trailing 20-14 and having only ran a single offensive play and were forced to punt. The Mustangs were forced to turn the ball over on downs at the Pine 41 in a huge defensive stand by the Raiders defense. The Raiders then scored on the ensuing drive as Johnson scored on a 20 yard run with 4:26 left in the second. The extra point was good to put the Raiders ahead 21-20. The Mustangs moved into the red zone before the halftime but Raiders defensive back Anterrius Walker intercepted a pass in the end zone to end the threat with :18 on the clock. In the second half the Raiders scored on the opening drive as Johnson scored on a 28 yard run with 9:05 in the third to put them up 28-20. The Raiders defense forced the Mustangs to turn the ball over on downs at their own 44 in what was likely the most crucial defensive series of the game for the Raiders. After taking over at the Mustangs 44 the Raiders scored when Johnson went in from 14 yards out with 3:22 left in the third to put the Raiders up 35-20. The Mustangs drove to the Raiders 34 yard line in the fourth period but again the Raiders forced them to turn the ball over on downs there. The Raiders punted to the Mustangs at the 6:58 mark again they turned the ball over on downs at the Pine 38. From there the Raiders moved inside the five yard line of the Mustangs and likely could have scored but ran out the time to win the game.