Pine Tree: 5-4, 4-2 in 9-5A, DII
Marshall: 6-3, 6-0
Time: Tonight, 7:30 p.m.
Stadium: Maverick Stadium, Marshall
Where to listen: YouTube Radio/Pine Tree Pirates
Pine Tree: Kerry Lane (4th year, 15-25)
Marshall: Jake Griedl (1st year, 6-3)
Last week: Lindale 49, Pine Tree 22; Marshall 35, Whitehouse 8
Up next: End of the regular season for both schools
Players to watch
Pine Tree: QB DJ Freeman (108 of 200 passing, 1,853 yards, 17 TDs, 2 INT; 113 carries, 1,110 yards, 15 TDs) … WR Gabe Adams (45 receptions, 986 yards, 9 TDs) … RB Tyler Sheffield (143 carries, 982 yards, 10 TDs) … WR JJ Sparkman (28 receptions, 460 yards, 6 TDs) … OL Jadarlon Key … LB Colton Munoz … LB Ryan Levingston … DB Keith Wright … K Brandt Herber
Marshall: QB Savion Williams (40 of 76 passing, 949 yards, 7 TDs, 1INT; 69 carries, 731 yards, 14 TDs) … RB Dominique Williams (63 carries, 606 yards, 4 TDs) … RB Joe Jordan (59 carries, 609 yards, 6 TDs) … ATH Demarcus Williams (5 KO Ret, 117 yards) … DB Lyrik Rawls (2 INT) … DL Michael Washington ... LB Kygze Turner
Did you know: This could well be the tale of two teams heading in opposite directions. Marshall started slow by losing its first three games out of the gate. The Mavericks have since strung together six consecutive Ws and are closing in on a third straight district championship. Pine Tree, on the other hand, was sitting at 5-2 a couple of weeks back with sights on a potential first-round home-field playoff game. The Pirates, however, dropped back-to-back home games against Whitehouse and Lindale and will now have to go on the road in their bi-district bout. The fans should get a treat tonight watching the signal-callers on both squads. Junior Pirate commander D.J. Freeman leads the district in both passing and rushing. He’s accounted for 32 of Pine Tree’s TDs this fall. Senior Savion Wiliams, Freeman’s counterpart, rates fifth in rushing and sixth in passing, compiling 1,680 yards in total offense with 21 scores. Pine Tree’s offense is tops in 9-5A with an average of 493.7, while Marshall is second at a 402.7 clip. Defensively, the Mavs are number one, surrendering 304.8 per game, while the Pirates rank seventh of eight schools with an average of 409.8 given up. PT’s opposition has had individual ball carriers amass 271 and 221 yards, respectively the past two Friday night’s. The charge of keeping Williams under wraps will be this evening’s challenge for the Pirates, while Marshall’s defense must focus its concentration on contaning the all-elusive Freeman in space, Make no mistake, there are other weapons on both sides for Marshall and Pine Tree, but the central focus is likely to be on the one’s taking snaps from center.
Twitter-sized preview: Marshall has a decided lead in the head-to-head with Pine Tree. The Mavericks have a 21-8-1 advantage over the Pirates, including victories in the last seven encounters. Pine Tree last notched a win over Marshall in 2011. Back before the advent of overtime, the two schools fought to a 0-0 deadlock in 1982.