For the second straight season, Pinecrest Academy’s perfect start stopped with Mount Paran, as the previously 3-0 Paladins fell to the defending Class A state champions, 35-19, at home.
Ryan McCarthy led Pinecrest (3-1) with 182 yards on 20 carries and all three of the team’s touchdowns.
“We played till the very last whistle, and it was a very tough loss.” McCarthy said. “I think I played okay, but I cannot do anything else without everyone on the team, and when I do well that means everyone is doing a good job.”
Taylor Trammell, who entered the game fourth in the state in rushing, gained 331 yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns for the Eagles (5-0).
The game was neck and neck in the first half. After the Paladins stopped the Eagles on their first drive, they came down the field on four plays for a 30-yard touchdown run from McCarthy. Then on the next drive for the Eagles, they came down the field on five plays with a 30-yard touchdown run as well by Garret Harris.
In the second quarter, the Eagles just kept on trucking. They scored on an eight-play drive that ended in a Harris 4 yard touchdown, making it 14-7. The Eagles scored again on their next drive, on another five-play drive, with Trammell going 64 yards for the touchdown. Pinecrest marched down the field multiple times but couldn’t score again in the first half.
In the second half the Paladins got the ball first, but yet again could not close. The Eagles scored on their second drive of the second half with a 94 yard touchdown run by Trammell, giving him his second touchdown of the night. The Paladins answered the Eagles on their next drive on an eight-play drive that ended in a McCarthy 4-yard touchdown with two and a half minutes left in the third quarter, but missed the extra point. That was plenty of time for the Eagles to come down and score again on another long touchdown run by Trammel, this time going 49 yards.
The fourth quarter, the Paladins tried to make a comeback by scoring early in the quarter on a 10-yard run by McCarthy to make the score 35-19 with a failed 2-point conversion.
“I think our kids played with a ton of heart, we fought hard. That was the number one team in the state, so I think our kids played extremely well,” Pinecrest head coach Todd Winter said. “We had the ball three times inside the fifteen yard line and just couldn't finish. But we got to execute in those situations, but I am very proud of these kids and proud of this program so we can play big games like this.”
Mount Paran 35, Pinecrest 19
Mt. Paran Chr. 7 14 14 0_35
Pinecrest Acad. 7 0 6 6_19
P_30 Run McCarthy (Birozes kick), 8:02
MP_30 Run Harris(Kroske kick),6:23
MP_4 run Harris (Kroske kick), 10:29
MP_64 run Trammell (Kroske kick), 4;24
MP_94 run Trammell (Kroske kick), 6:11
P_ 4 run McCarthy (Birozes missed kick), 2:28
MP_49 run Trammell (Kroske kick), 1:29
P_10 run McCarthy (failed 2-pt), 11:11