JOHNS CREEK – Stuart Jeans was iced twice before he was able to hit a clutch 29-yard field goal to give Pinecrest Academy a big 17-14 victory at Mount Pisgah heading into their important matchup with Mount Paran next Friday.
Pinecrest head coach Todd Winters was very impressed with his kicker’s confidence.
“How about Stuart Jeans,” Winters said. “I mean, they iced him twice. He told me, ‘Coach, just get it to the middle for me’. So I told [quarterback] Ryan [McCarthy], get it to the middle, and I don’t know what he was thinking because he went right out to the [left] hash. But it was a gutsy game and a great victory.”
Pinecrest started off the game hot, by taking its opening drive down the field and scoring on a 24-yard run by junior Michael Birozes. The Paladins struggled on offense until the fourth quarter when they scored on a 9-yard pass from senior quarterback Ryan McCarthy to Corey Downes to tie the game with just a little more than 3 minutes remaining in the game. Pinecrest did manage to get to the Patriots’ three-yard line at the end of the third quarter, but it turned the ball over on downs.
Birozes finished the game with 117 yards on 12 carries with the one touchdown, and he said they saw a weakness in the Mount Pisgah defense.
“We were just running to the Nub side,” Birozes said. “I think that was just the better way to go, and it was working, so we just kept on going to it.”
McCarthy finished the game going 5 of 8 passing for 89 yards and a touchdown, along with 14 carries for 27 yards.
The game was filled with turnovers on both sides, two fumbles by Pinecrest and one fumble and two interceptions thrown by Mount Pisgah. Both Birozes and Winter know that is something that they have to work on going forward, as well getting guys healed up.
“Ball security,” Birozes said. “We got to hold on to the ball. We had a lot of fumbles, and we can’t let that happen.”
“We just kept fightin’, and fightin’,” said Winter, “and we have to take care of the football. That was a killer for us tonight. We have to take care of the turnovers. Somehow, Ryan [McCarthy] got his ear cut. So we went two series without Ryan…[but] this is a rivalry game. [Mount Pisgah] fought hard, and they wanted it. We got a lot of nicks, and bruises, and we got to get guys healed up, [but] guys stepped in, and we adjusted and adapted and overcame.”
Mount Pisgah was led offensively by quarterback Jacob Cendoya, who threw for 187 yards on 17 of 33 passing with two interceptions, to go along with his 56 yards rushing on 14 carries. Trey Murphy caught six passes for 71 yards and ran for three yards on four carries.
Pinecrest Academy 17, Mount Pisgah 14
Pinecrest Acad. 7 0 0 10_17
Mount Pisgah 0 7 0 7_14
PA_Birozes 24 run (Jeans kick), 9:25
MP_Miller 3 run (Broaddus kick), 4:21
MP_Miller 1 run (Broaddus kick), 7:36
PA_Downes 9 pass from McCarthy (Jeans kick), 3:13
PA_Jeans 29 field goal, :00