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Pirates hope to build off win

By TYLER CLIFTON tclifton@marshallnewsmessenger.com
Oct. 3, 2012 at 10 p.m.


Pine Tree lost its 2012 season opener 41-28 at Van, but those who follow the Pirates had to have seen a small glimpse of hope from the outcome.

There was the 14-all tie after the first quarter, with Pine Tree (1-2) outscoring the Vandals 14-6 in the final 12 minutes, but it was the two quarters in between which doomed the Pirates in the end.

There was the game against Kilgore on Sept. 14 which was cancelled only a few plays in and amounted to two weeks off after being followed by a bye. Pine Tree is also the lone District 14-4A team competing this week and has another winnable game against Nacogdoches (0-4) in the third of what turned out to be three straight home games after last week's 28-21 win against Lindale.

Pine Tree entered the second quarter trailing the Eagles 14-0, when Eddie Calico had a 54-yard interception return for a touchdown a little more than two minutes into the second quarter only to be answered by Aaron Jackson's 88-yard kickoff return for a score off a reverse.

The Pirates proceeded to outscore Lindale 28-7 in the second and third quarters for their comeback win and will have the home crowd on their side once again this week against the Dragons. They'll look to enter their District 14-4A opener next week at Texas High on a two-game winning streak.

District 14-4A's combined record through Week Four is 13-14, as the six teams went a combined 4-2.

Texas High (1-3) is the only other team besides Marshall coming off a loss after falling 24-13 to Kennedale, its third straight defeat since a 13-7 season-opening victory against Arkansas High.

Hallsville-Marshall is a nice little rivalry which will resume next week, and unlike many seasons, the Bobcats will actually be favored to win after their strong 4-1 start. Maverick Stadium will be buzzing with its team aching to end its eight-game losing streak dating back to last season. This might actually be the worst time to have a bye the way Hallsville is playing with four straight wins since its loss to Whitehouse.

This is a nice little series against two towns 15 minutes apart, but it fails in comparison to the one with Mount Pleasant (4-1) hosting Sulphur Springs (3-2) in a game where the scoreboard light should be short circuiting by the time it's all said and done with these two powerful offenses.

Sulphur Springs scored 42 points in each of its last two games at home with last week's win against Corsicana following an earlier victory in the all-Wildcat matchup against Barry Bowman and Paris.

Mount Pleasant also scored 42 points last week in its win at Atlanta.

Winning the first district game will go a long way for the three victors, particularly in a six-team district, and the three losing teams face must-wins on Oct. 19 for their playoff aspirations to be realistic ones.

District 13-4A outlook

These teams will be two games into their district schedule before their 14-4A counterparts join the fray next week, and Week Five consists of a pair of rivalry games.

Sherman-Denison will be discussed in more detail Friday, while Wylie and third-year program Wylie East will duke it out for city bragging rights in October's first weekend. The Raiders (3-1, 1-0) beat Denison by three touchdowns and are picked by many to win the 13-4A title, while Wylie (0-4, 0-1) is still expected to be in the thick of things before it's all said and done after dropping from Class 5A.

Wylie fell to a Lovejoy team (4-0, 1-0) which has allowed its presence to be known early despite being picked by many to finish in the middle of the district's pecking order. The Leopards travel to face a winless Greenville team (0-4, 0-1) and its 24-game losing skid.

Royse City (1-3, 1-0) travels to face a McKinney North team (0-4, 0-1) which took it to the chin last week against Sherman in a pivotal game which will swing the pendulum in one team's favor and creates quite a logjam should the navy and orange of MN beat the black and gold of RC in the all-Bulldog matchup.

Sherman (3-1, 1-0) travels to Munson Stadium to face rival Denison (0-4, 0-1) in the state's oldest series.

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