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Football: Pinecrest Academy knocks of Class 7A-program Discovery
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Pinecrest Academy scored 28 unanswered points to knock off Discovery 28-7 on Friday night.

“Our kids came out, you could sense it in pre-game that they were loose, they were ready to play, and they were ready to execute the game plan.” Pinecrest Academy head coach Todd Winter said.

The Titans put the first points on the board when Mikkael Reynolds busted through the middle of the Paladins’ defense for a 20-yard touchdown run.

Pinecrest struggled to get much going on its first couple of possessions, but on its third possession of the game it converted a fake punt on fourth-and- 8 when Micky Mangan found Corey Downes for a 27-yard gain.

“They were giving it to us.” Winter said of the defensive alignment on the fake punt. “Micky Mangan did a great job of handling the snap and getting the ball to Corey. Corey’s been playing great all year. Micky, he’s our backup quarterback, plays a ton of receiver for us, and he just did a great job right there.”

That play seemed to light a fire under the Paladins, as they turned that into 10-play, 64-yard drive, ending in 5-yard touchdown run from Ryan McCarthy.

And the Paladins didn’t stop there.

Two plays after Pinecrest’s Stone Brown picked up a big fourth down sack, Carson Holler showed off his speed, taking a handoff 61 yards for a touchdown, giving the Paladins a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter.

Holler found the end zone a few minutes later to give the Paladins a 21-7 lead going into the half. Holler finished the game with six carries for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

To begin the second half, Pinecrest orchestrated a dominant 10-play, 74-yard drive that ate up over six minutes of game clock. Ryan McCarthy was able to punch it in from a yard out to give them a 28-7 lead. McCarthy finished with 14 carries for 47 yards and two touchdowns.

“We did perfectly in executing the game plan,” McCarthy said. “We did everything we wanted to do. We wanted to shut down the run. We wanted to make sure we could run the right plays on offense and we executed everything.”

The Paladins’ defense was stifling as well. In the first half they held the Titans to 88 yards of total offense and 0-for-7 on third downs. They ended the game allowing 199 total yards. Stone Brown and Nolan Stafford each recorded a sack, while Corey Downes intercepted each of the Titans’ two quarterbacks.

“Defensively, the plan was to get our line moving in the right direction, get pressure on the quarterback, shut the run game down, and make him check down on his throws,” Winter said. “I thought our corners did a tremendous job in coverage, I thought we had good pressure all night. We gave them a couple short fields, but the defense stepped up a couple times late in this game.”

With the win, Pinecrest Academy became the first Class 1A school to knock off a 7A program.

“Everybody thought we were crazy, thought I was nuts, that I was insane,” Winter said. “You know what, we got 16 points for that victory, we got four for last week’s. Statistically we’re 2-0. There’s people that doubted us. We didn’t just schedule the games. We had a vision. We had a purpose in what we were doing. And we executed that, and that credit goes to the kids.”