By Eric McDonald
For the Forsyth County News
Pinecrest Academy had a lot to celebrate on Friday night, as the Paladins earned its first home win of the season, defeating Mount Pisgah 21-10.
The Paladins (3-3) are now at .500 for the first time since 2016 under second year head coach Terance Mathis, who now has his first two-game winning streak of the season and is in the hunt for the Paladins’ first playoff appearance.
“This is how we take our season, 10 games: We just won game 6.” Mathis said, “We are back in the fight again, and that’s how we want to be.”
Both teams were scoreless in the until the second quarter, when Mount Pisgah quarterback Conner Norwood threw an ill-advised pass in coverage and was intercepted by Colby Mangan, who rumbled 70-yards for the Paladins’ first score of the night.
The Patriots (2-5) answered right back on the next series, as Norwood connected with Chase Grande on an 83-yard touchdown.
After another three-and-out by the Paladins’ offense, the Patriots managed to put together a five-play drive that ended in a 26-yard field goal by Payton Broaddus to take the lead at 10-7.
In the next series, Paladins quarterback Ryan DiFazio took matters in his own hands on a designed run that went 52 yards to the Patriots’ 10-yard line.
Two plays later, DiFazio, who went 12 of 17 with 124 yards passing on the night, found Ethan Massey on a fade pass to the far-left corner for the Paladins touchdown. The Paladins went into halftime with a 14-10 lead.
In the second half, Pinecrest built on its momentum, as DiFazio connected with Mangan for a 41-yard touchdown, making the lead 21-10.
The Patriots tried desperately to mount a comeback late in the fourth quarter, but Conner Norwood threw two interceptions, to Jimmy Dinsmore and again to Mangan, ending the game.
“This win feels good.” Mangan said. “We are glad we got the win and now we can move forward.”