Windsor Academy is becoming a recurring nightmare for Pinecrest Academy.
The team that ousted the Paladins from the state playoffs last season dealt them their first loss of the season Friday, prevailing 34-14 in Macon.
The visiting Paladins (1-1) drew first blood late in the first quarter, when quarterback Zach Wilson capped off a short 33-yard drive with a three-yard keeper. A missed extra point left it 6-0 after one period.
Wilson was 10-for-15 passing with 134 yards, 120 of which came in the first half.
Windsor tied it up with 9:39 left in the half after intercepting Wilson. A missed Windsor extra point left things tied 6-6.
E.J. Bueltel of Pinecrest would later recover a Windsor fumble on the Knights’ 7-yard line and set up a go-ahead touchdown on Wilson’s one-yard keeper.
Wilson then tossed a two-point conversion to John Schaeffer to give the Paladins a 14-6 advantage with 3:04 left in the first half.
The Knights took over from there, however, outscoring Pinecrest 28-0 the rest of the way.
The tide turned on the kickoff following Pinecrest’s second touchdown, as the Knights took the kick 56 yards and gained yardage from a facemask penalty to set up in good position.
The home team scored on a two-yard run and added the two-point conversion, resulting in a 14-14 halftime score.
On the second play of the third period, the Knights broke off a 91-yard pass play to take their first lead, 21-14.
On the next possession, it was a 59-yard touchdown pass and a missed two-pointer that added to the lead. Ninety seconds after that, the Knights scored again on a 55-yard run, adding the point after to make the count 34-14 with 5:51 left in the third.
The Knights ended up with 20 points in the first 6:09 of the second half, and didn’t score again during the game. The damage was already done, however, as the Paladins were unable to recover.
Junior running back Michael Cassandra had a solid night for Pinecrest, carrying the ball 12 times for 53 yards.
The Paladins finally play their home opener this Friday, hosting Mount de Sales Academy from Macon.