Pine Prairie hoping to get more experience as they host a tough Oberlin Tiger squad
Pine Prairie head coach Yves Prince knew that his team would be inexperienced in key areas this coming season.
However, Prince did not realize just how inexperienced his team truly was until their debut at the Evangeline Parish jamboree.
The Panthers did not play as well as Prince and his staff had hoped they would, losing to Sacred Heart 20-0 and to Mamou 26-0. In those two contests, the Panthers only managed 72 total yards in both contests combined, with 86 yards coming through the air. That means that Pine Prairie was a negative 18 in the rushing department.
“It has been very hard just to move the ball right now,” stated Prince. “Between the scrimmage and the jamboree, we have not been able to establish our running game whatsoever and that was supposed to be our strong suit coming into the season because we have a bunch of returning linemen.”
“We are just struggling to find our way,” Prince continued. “Our biggest problem has been the ability to move the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. We need our guys up front to do a better job of that or it will be a long season. We are looking into going back to the 4-2-5 on defense and trying to find people to fit at different spots. It is a process when you have a ton of sophomores and freshmen playing for you.”
Pine Prairie’s next opponent is not lacking in the experience department by any stretch of the imagination. The Tigers come into the game with seven returners on offense and nine returners on defense.
Last season Oberlin reached the Class 1A quarterfinals after beating Northwood-Lena and Jonesboro-Hodge. The Tigers are a Wing-T team that return first team all-district fullback Collin Chatman.
“They are solid football team that does not have a lot of flaws,” stated Prince. “Coach Pelloquin and his staff do a great job of making sure they run the offense and defense to perfection. They run the ball so well out of that Wing-T. It will not be easy this week.”
“For us, we have to focus on getting better,” he continued. “The ceiling is high right now and we have a lot of room to grow and improve. It is going to be a week leading up to the game where we find guys that can give us the minutes we need to be a good football team.”