PREVIEW: Pine Tree Looks to Remain Unbeaten in District
DISTRICT 9-5A DIVISION II
Pine Tree Pirates (4-1, 2-0)
Jacksonville Indians (1-4, 0-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Christus TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler
- Pine Tree: Kerry Lane
- Jacksonville: Wayne Coleman
- Pine Tree: vs. Nacogdoches, Oct. 19
- Jacksonville: at Marshall, Oct. 19
Players to watch
- FB Keshon Williams, Sr., 6-3, 240 (8 carries, 63 yards, 1 TD; 8 catches, 169 yards; committed to Texas State)
- WR JJ Sparkman, Jr., 6-5, 205 (11 catches, 281 yards, 5 TDs)
- QB DJ Freeman, Soph., 5-8, 140 (34 of 61, 686 yards, 9 TDs, 2 INTs; 45 carries, 484 yards, 8 TDs)
- RB Gabe Nelson, Sr., 5-11, 157 (96 carries, 900 yards, 7 TDs; 3 catches, 31 yards, 1 TD)
- WR/DB Davon Coleman, Sr., 5-10, 165 (8 catches, 170 yards, 3 TDs; 4 carries, 40 yards; 14 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 INTs, 9 PBUs, 1 forced fumble)
- WR Gabrell Adams, Jr., 6-0, 175 (10 catches, 185 yards, 2 TDs)
- DB Keith Wright, Jr., 6-0, 155 (36 tackles)
- DL Rashaud Livingston, Soph., 5-8, 205 (18 tackles, 3.5 for loss, 0.5 sacks, 2 QB pressures)
- ATH Deshawn McCuin, Sr., 6-0, 170 (27 carries, 285 yards; 6 catches, 109 yards; 5 tackles, 1 PBU; committed to TCU)
- QB Tristen Shewmake, Jr., 6-0, 185 (35 of 90, 585 yards, 7 TDs, 5 INTs)
- LB Shiloh Canady, Jr., 6-1, 190 (51 tackles, 8 for loss, 3 sacks, 3 INTs, 2 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
- WR/DB Chris Carpenter, Jr., 6-0, 170 (12 catches, 209 yards; 9 carries, 58 yards; 5 tackles, 1 INT)
- WR/DB Braelyn Riden, Sr., 6-1, 170 (3 catches, 53 yards; 5 tackles, 1 PBU; committed to Texas Southern)
- RB TJ Ratliffe, Sr., 5-10, 175 (65 carries, 222 yards; 5 catches, 27 yards)
- WR Joydaysion Thompson, Jr., 6-0, 165 (5 catches, 95 yards)
- DL/LB Taqualan Thompson, Sr., 5-9, 200 (44 tackles, 1 forced fumble)
Just the facts
- Pine Tree is shooting for back-to-back playoff seasons for the first time in school history.
- Jacksonville's final four games of the season come against Marshall, Hallsville, Mount Pleasant, and Lindale.
- Pine Tree is averaging 45.4 points and 500.8 yards per game -- 333.6 rushing and 167.2 passing.
- Pirates sophomore quarterback DJ Freeman has accounted for 17 of his team's 27 offensive touchdowns.
- Pine Tree is allowing 36 points per game, has four sacks, and has forced six turnovers -- four interceptions and two fumbles.
- Jacksonville is averaging 28.8 points and 259,2 yards per game -- 138.8 rushing and 120.4 passing.
- The Indians have won three of the last four meetings against Pine Tree.
- Jacksonville is allowing 36.6 points per game, has seven sacks, and has forced 10 turnovers -- four interceptions and six fumbles.
Key matchup: Pine Tree rushing attack vs. Jacksonville defensive front. Through the first half of the regular season, few teams have been as explosive running the football than the Pine Tree Pirates. Pine Tree comes into Friday's game with Jacksonville averaging more than 330 rushing yards per game. Additionally, Pirates ball carriers are averaging an astounding nine yards per carry. So it comes as no surprise Pine Tree has won four of its first five games in 2018 and is averaging more than 45 points in the process. Gabe Nelson is the team's leading rusher with 900 yards and seven touchdowns, but sophomore quarterback DJ Freeman has been special on the ground as well with 484 yards and a team-best eight rushing touchdowns. Success in the running game has led to big plays through the air as well, as Pine Tree enters this week with four players having at least one touchdown reception.
Jacksonville's run defense been average at best this season. The Indians come into this week allowing 175 rushing yards per game, while opponents are averaging almost five yards per attempt. However, the Indians are coming off their best game of the year against the run, as they limited Whitehouse to just 104 yards on 31 carries. Jacksonville will need another strong performance up front against Pine Tree in order to shake off its three-game losing streak. Expect to see a few run blitzes, and a loaded box in order to keep the Pirates from dominating on the ground. Jacksonville's pass defense has been solid this season with Deshawn McCuin, Braelyn Riden, and Chris Carpenter leading the way. So if Jacksonville can find a way to limit Pine Tree's effectiveness on the ground, the Indians should be in good shape defensively.
Don't be surprised if: Jacksonville takes several chances down the field with its passing game. The Indians cannot afford to get involved in a shootout with a much more explosive Pine Tree offense, so any time Jacksonville can pick up some chunk plays will be a plus. Quarterback Tristen Shewmake has had his struggles this season, but if he can connect with McCuin, Carpenter, Joydaysion Thompson deep downfield a few times, Jacksonville might at least be able to hang around in the game for a while.