JHS vs. Pine Tree Preview: Tribe must slow down potent Pirate offense

Jacksonville's Bryson Tatum (10) squeezes through a hole for a short gain during the Tribe's game against Whitehouse last week. Tatum has been named as the Fightin' Heart award winner for the week. Tatum is a junior.

Two clubs on the opposite end of the District 9-5A-II standings will exchange pleasantries at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Pirate Stadium in Longview.

Jacksonville stands 1-4, 0-2 while Pine Tree owns a 3-2, 2-0 record.

The Indians are fresh off of a 25-13 loss to Whitehouse last week, in a game that the Indian defense held its own, but the Tribe offense was limited to only touchdown.

Pine Tree ginned a 56-25 road win over Mount Pleasant in its last outing.

The skinny on the Bucs is that they usually score a plethora of points — 45 per game on average — and they also give up more points than several of the other better teams in the conference.

“They run out of the spread and they run it well,” Jacksonville head coach Wayne Coleman said. “Pine Tree has an explosive offense and they like to play fast.

“They like to try to have you outscore them. They are not as focused on the points that they give up as much as some of the other teams in the district are.”

To illustrate Coleman's point, the Pirates picked up a whopping 630 total yards of offense in last week's victory, but gave up 325 passing yards at the same time.

“Our problem on offense the past two weeks has been lack of big plays,” Coleman said. “We have to be more creative on offense this week.”

Two of Pine Tree's chief offensive weapons are quarterback D.J. Freeman and running back Tyler Sheffield.

Freeman was 22-36 passing last week for 305 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for 123 yards and three scores.

Sheffield had 23 carries for 137 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

“We are going to have to pick out battles defensively,” Coleman said. “Because Pine Tree does a lot of things well on offense.

“Our goal is to win first and second down and try to keep them behind the chains.”


Coleman's players of the week

Tribe nose guard Justin Griffin was named as the Defensive Player of the Week for the Whitehouse game. He totaled five solo tackles, three assisted tackles and caused a fumble.

Kasey Canady was lauded as the Offensive Player of the Week. Canady caught four passes for 45 yards and averaged 11.3 yards per catch.

Bryson Tatum earned the Fightin' Heart award. Tatum had 10 tackles and caused a fumble while playing defense. He also rushed for 19 yards in six carries.

The Jacksonville coaching staff did not name a top performer for special teams this week.

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