Pine Prairie quarterback Branson Fontenot (8) launches a pass against Oberlin. The Panthers fell to Oberlin 34-0 in their opening game. (Gazette photo by Gary Leleux)
Pine Prairie shut out against Oberlin in season opener
A youthful Pine Prairie football team began the 2019 season hosting an Oberlin Tiger team who lost in the state quarterfinals last season on the road against Oak Grove. The Tigers returned 16 seniors from that team and scored almost as many points before the Panthers could sustain a drive on their way to a 34-0 win.
After the Panthers’ initial drive stalled, Oberlin fielded the punt for a fair catch on the Tiger 40 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, quarterback Levi Peloquin got the ball to Trevor Rider on a shovel pass for a 60-yard touchdown run. The extra point attempt was good to put Oberlin ahead 7-0 at the 10:43 mark of the first quarter.
“On the first play of the game,” Panther head coach Yves Prince said, “we should have struck for a touchdown, but we dropped the ball. Our kids are mainly sophomores, but we have to make that play.”
The kickoff was recovered by Oberlin on the Panther 32 yardline, and the Tigers went the distance and capped off the possession with a touchdown run by Collin Chatman. The extra point was missed, and, with 8:51 to go in the first quarter, Oberlin led 13-0.
Pine Prairie then regained possession on its 24 yard line. On 3rd-and-8, quarterback Branson Fontenot connected with Josiah Ortis for a pass completion down to the Tiger 46 yard line. Ortis was then on the receiving end of another completion to put his Panthers on the Tiger 23-yard line. Later in the drive, on 3rd-and-8, Fontenot escaped trouble for a 2-yard gain. The Panthers went for it on 4th down, and Oberlin’s Chatman intercepted the pass and returned it for a touchdown. The point after was good to give the Tigers a 20-0 lead with 4:22 remaining in the first quarter.
The Panthers put together another positive drive on the ensuing possession as Davis Deshotel crossed midfield, but the sequence ended with Oberlin’s Jaden Johnson coming away with an interception.
Oberlin added another pair of touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 34-0 lead into the half, and both teams were content with running out the clock in the second half.
Despite the outcome, Prince was pleased with his team’s showing. “I told my kids all week to be competitive,” he said. “I’m proud of our kids. They hung in there for a time, but Oberlin just had too much speed and too much experience for us.
The Panthers, next Thursday night, host the Oakdale Warriors with a record of 1-0 after defeating Elton 13-0 in Destin Dieterich’s debut as head coach. The Warriors will be without starting quarterback Dutton Dieterich who was injured in the Allen Paris Jamboree.