ALBANY -- Top-ranked Deerfield-Windsor built an early lead, then held off a gritty Pinecrest squad en route to a 39-25 victory in the semifinals of the GISA Class AAA playoffs.
The loss ends the Paladins (11-2) season, their last in the Georgia Independent School Association.
Pinecrest is moving to the Georgia High School Association next year.
Big plays were the story of the night as Deerfield-Windsor's offense struck quickly in the first quarter on 71-yard and 50-yard touchdown runs.
A Pinecrest field goal cut the lead to 13-3, but the Knights struck again on a 70-yard touchdown pass.
The Paladins, the Region 1-AAA champions, trailed 32-10 at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Pinecrest got within 16 points on a touchdown and two-point conversion with nine minutes remaining in the game.
Once again, however, the Knights answered to make it 39-18.
A late Paladin touchdown accounted for the final margin.
For complete game coverage, see the next edition of the Forsyth County News.