Port Allen vs. Pine advance

Port Allen quarterback Jacoby Howard fakes the handoff to Christian Gantt during last week's game against Episcopal. The Pelicans will host Pine in the first round on Friday.

Nothing beats the opportunity of time with the family during the Thanksgiving holiday, and this year the Port Allen Pelicans will celebrate a part of it with their extended family.

The Pels will spend the night after Thanksgiving with their fans on Friday, when they hope to give the crowd plenty of reason to rejoice when they host Pine in the first round of Class 2A non-select playoff action. 

“We’re very excited to have this homefield advantage for the first round,” head coach Don Gibson said. “This gives us a little momentum for the game, plus it gives our fans a chance to see us play one more time.”

Port Allen heads into the post-season fray after a 31-18 loss to Episcopal in the District 8-2A title game.   “Once the playoffs start, everything resets, Gibson said. “It’s something we’ve been talking about all year.”

The chip on the shoulder after the loss to Episcopal may actually help the Pelicans, he said.

“There are things we did in the Episcopal game that we need to look at because we know we didn’t do them well,” Gibson said.  “Pine has an offense similar to Episcopal, so we’ve seen some of it previously, plus Pine had a good running game and some very capable running backs.”

“As for us, we have to do what we’ve been focusing on all season: Control the tempo, control the running game and spark the passing game when we need it,” he said. “We gave a lot of credit to to Episcopal for what they did, but we made a lot of mistakes we need to correct.”

Pine (2-7, 1-5) ended the season with a 35-7 loss against Amite. The Raiders posted a 28-7 win in Week 2 against Northlake Christian of Covington and a 40-15 rout over Independence in Week 4 fare. 

The Raiders closed regular season action Nov. 20 with a 40-38 loss to Varnado.

Pine reached the Class 2A quarterfinals, which ended in a 56-17 loss to eventual state runner-up Many the 2019 playoffs.

Standouts include quarterback Brandon Sprehe, running back Ricardo Handy, wide receiver Jordan Anderson, free safety Corey Barber, running back Adriauen Johnson, middle linebacker Drake Westmoreland, defensive end Ka’Zyruls Harvey and defensive tackle Trystan Bankston. 


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