ALPHARETTA – Pinecrest Academy recorded its third shutout of the season, dominating St. Francis 42-0 and holding them to just 121 total yards, with the triplet of shutouts setting a new school record for number of times their defense has blanked an opponent in a single season.
Pinecrest head coach Todd Winter was beaming about his team’s accomplishment after the game.
“The thing we are most proud of right now,” Winter said, “Is that for the first time in school history, we have recorded three shutouts in a single season. That is from the beginning, from 2004 to now. That is quite the accomplishment. I mean, it’s hard enough to win a football game, but when you are playing to get a shutout, I mean, our defense is just flying to the football right now. We got to keep that going.”
Pinecrest’s senior quarterback Ryan McCarthy is also excited about how the defense is playing.
“A pretty big game for us,” McCarthy said. “The shutouts are probably the biggest thing for us right now.”
McCarthy led Pinecrest’s offense with 144 yards rushing on 16 carries and three touchdowns, while completing 2 of 7 passes for 48 yards and a touchdown. The Paladins also received 69 yards rushing on 13 carries by Brooks Binkley. Carson Holler and Hogan Palmer also rushed for touchdowns.
Even though Pinecrest is rolling right now, both Winter and McCarthy understand that there are things to work on and things to be proud of as a team.
“We got to keep getting to the football,” said Winter. “Every week in practice, it’s get to the football, and it’s a piranha. We need to break down on that. I am really excited about how our defense is playing.
“[On what needs to be improved] I think it’s depth. It’s getting more guys ready to play. A couple of injuries in this game. We got to see those guys are, and if they will be available next week. It’s depth. For us right now, it is getting better at what we do. We run the triple option, but we just have to keep getting better at it every single game.
“Defensively, we just have to get to the football. We got to get off the blocks, but they are playing for the man beside them. They are truly sacrificing for their teammate. It is not about them, it is not about how many interceptions, how many tackles they get or how many yards they get. These guys don’t come to me on Monday and ask me those questions. They are truly playing this game for the man beside them.”
“We ran the ball really, really well tonight,” McCarthy added. “We were just hitting everything tonight. Running worked really well tonight. I missed a couple passes that I probably shouldn’t have missed, but it is what it is.”