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Pirates fall in season opener to Jacksonville


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Pine Tree staged a second half rally that fell one half yard short, and the Pirates dropped a heartbreaking season opener to the Jacksonville Indians, 21-12, at the Tomato Bowl Friday night.

The Pirates fell behind 14-0 and looked fairly anemic on offense, but in the second half the offensive line took control of the game, the running game got untracked and the Pirates staged a mighty comeback that almost got them a victory.

Down 14-6 in the fourth quarter, Williams and the offense chugged down the field on a long drive to score with around 3 minutes remaining on the clock. A try for two and a tie game, however, came up one half yard short, making the score 14-12.

A late Jacksonville touchdown thanks to a personal foul penalty and a missed assignment on a screen pass gave the Indians the final 21-12 advantage.

Pine Tree came out sluggish on offense and had trouble moving the ball against Jacksonville, only accounting for two field goals before the fourth quarter. The passing game was a bit off as well, having misses, drops or overthrows for the most part.

But, Coach Kerry Lane, Coach Jason Baughman and the defensive coaches made the necessary halftime adjustments to turn Pine Tree into a contender. The offense picked up valuable yardage, the defense was tenacious against a fairly good Jacksonville offense and special teams held the Indians in check while Pine Tree mounted its comeback.

Coach Lane wanted a win, of course, but could not be disappointed with the effort, especially in the second half. He said the team would look closely at the film this week and get ready for a Pittsburg team that was pretty good last year.

The Pirates are looking forward to opening the home part of their schedule on Friday night, and Lane said the team is already showing improvement and working hard on things they noticed during the Jacksonville game.

“The one thing I can say about this team is that they listen, they take correction and work hard to make those corrections,” he said. “They want to get better, for each other, for the coaches and for the school. No one will work harder this season than these players.”

Lane said Pittsburg is still pretty salty, but he said Pine Tree is ready for the visitors from the north and should put up a pretty good fight.

“We have the ability, the players and the game plan to win,” he said. “We just have to go out and execute on Friday night to make that happen. We coaches believe in these players, and the players believe in themselves. We will be ready to play when the whistle sounds.”

Game time for the contest is 7:30 p.m. Friday night. It is Back The Blue night and the members of the Longview Police Department will be honored at the game.


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Pirates fall in season opener to Jacksonville