Panthers travel North to meet Gators
By: LANCE REED
It has been a while since the hard-working Panthers of Pine Prairie (1-7, 0-4) have tasted a victory.
They picked up the school’s first victory earlier this year with a big win over the North Central Hurricanes. This week, the Panthers will travel north up Interstate 49 to meet the Class 1A Northwood-lena Gators. The Gators are 2-6 on the season and 0-3 in District 3-1 competition.
The Gators traditoinally run a decent football team, but have failed to yield a winning record in the couple of seasons. Their two wins this year come against Tensas (1-6) and Lakeview (1-7). The Gators spit out a 38-24 victory over Tensas in week one and a 30-0 victory over Lakeview in week four.
The Gators have improved as of late. They just missed a victory of Class 1A power Montgomery, 34-26 in week seven. However, they were drilled last week by Block 46-8. Consistency could be a problem the Panthers could take advantage of.
The Gators have always run a double-wing style offense. They usually have tough running backs who can score at any place on the field. The offense scores an average of 14 points per game; a number the Panthers can easily out score.
The Panthers struggled to get high marks on offense last week against fifth-ranked Port Barre. As with lots of Port Barre’s opponents, the runnng game was consumed by size and speed. Pine Prairie will find success this week aginst a defense that yields 25 points a game to opponents. Because most of those opponents run the ball, the Panthers will be able to throw the ball nearly at will. The only passing team the Gators have seen was Montgomery, who put up 36 points.
Pine Prairie has a lot to fight for this week. A victory over the Gators could give them good momentum going into week 10 against the Sacred Heart Trojans.
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at NHS.