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Football: Pinecrest Academy edges Bowdon in regular season finale
Paladins await state playoff seed
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BOWDON – Pinecrest Academy football made the most of its road trip Friday at Bowdon.

Michael Birozes rushed for two touchdowns, Ryan McCarthy rushed for another and the Paladins forced a crucial turnover late to pull out a 20-14 victory Friday in a Region 6-1A cross-over game.

Pinecrest finishes the regular season at 7-3 and waits to find out its seed in the GHSA Class 1A private school state playoffs Saturday. The Paladins entered Friday at No. 11 in the Class 1A power ratings used to determine the 24-team state playoff field.

Birozes’ second touchdown, a 51-yard score with 3 minutes, 6 seconds left in the game, broke a 14-14 tie and proved to be the game-winner, but Pinecrest wasn’t sure of the result until Daniel Duke recovered a Bowdon fumble with 1:18 left.

Birozes started the scoring with a 16-yard touchdown in the first quarter. McCarthy plunged in to the end zone from a yard out just before halftime to give the Paladins a 14-8 lead.

Corey Downes added to his haul of interceptions this season as Pinecrest’s defense held Bowdon (6-4) to half its scoring average entering Friday.