Defensive end Kobe Ardoin (30) tries to bring down a Port Barre runner. (Gazette photo by Tracey Jagneaux)
Pine Prairie enters district play on the road at Northwest trying to pick up first victory
The Pine Prairie Panthers are not your typical 0-3 team.
Unlike most team that do not have a win up to this point in the season, the Panthers are not about to cash it in. Instead, the Pine Prairie football squad still has a ton of life inside of them.
“It is always a positive to have players come back on Monday after a loss anxious to learn and get better,” stated Pine Prairie head coach Richard Clark. “It would be very different to coach if your players just don’t care. Luckily, our guys care and want to be successful. If they continue to keep up their work ethic and continue to keep up the intensity, the wins will come.”
They will need all of the enthusiasm possible tomorrow night, as they travel to Prairie Rhonde to battle the Northwest High Raiders. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
The Raiders are 1-2 on the season after a 56-7 loss to Cecilia this past Friday night. Northwest lost to Class 5A East Ascension 21-0 in week one and defeated Crowley 20-6 the Wednesday before Hurricane Delta made landfall.
“Northwest is going to be Northwest,” said Clark. “They have a ton of talent and try to use their athleticism to beat you. Our goal is to be who we are. We have learn to be Pine Prairie and play to our strengths.”
One of the areas that Pine Prairie has actually performed well at is the run game. Against Montgomery two weeks ago, the Panthers rushed for over 200 yards, behind the effort of running backs Hayden Bourgeious and Da’jon Lemalle.
“Our coaching staff tries to set the tone that in order for us to be successful, we have to run the ball,” said Clark. “There is no better statement than to be able to run the football against your opponent. Hats off to our offense, we have done a good job of running the ball with our best running back on the sideline.”
Defensively, the Panthers have not fared well in their three games played. Altogether, Pine Prairie has given up 138 points to their opponents. This is an area of concern for Clark and his coaching staff.
“This is going to sound crazy, but when you watch film on Saturday, our guys are doing what they are supposed to do,” commented Clark. “Offenses today are designed to score a ton of points. A lot of it comes down to tackling and as a young team we are struggling with that right now.”