After a few tough losses, Pinecrest Academy closed the regular season with a narrow 26-22 win over The Walker School Friday in Marietta.
The Paladins got off to a picture perfect start, as Jacob White hooked up with Luke Coury on a 75-yard touchdown on the team's opening drive.
Pinecrest had a few chances to extend its 7-0 lead, but a series stalled at the 1-yard line and the Paladins also missed a short field goal. Eventually, the visitors did extend their advantage on a touchdown run by White for a 13-0 edge.
Following an interception by Leo Groza, the Paladins managed to find the end zone on a 1-yard connection from White to Brock Barbee. A missed extra point kept the Wolverines within 19-0.
Just before halftime, Walker got on the board with a halfback pass that caught Pinecrest off guard. However, the Paladins denied the 2-point conversion try, with Sean McCabe breaking up the pass.
A turnover on downs in the third quarter sent Pinecrest on its final scoring drive. A 54-yard run by White keyed the possession, and the freshman capped the series with another 1-yard toss to Barbee.
Entering the fourth quarter with a 26-6 lead, the Paladins appeared set to cruise to victory. To the Wolverines' credit, they found the end one twice and converted a pair of 2-point conversions to pull within 26-22.
Pinecrest, though, survived the final 3:09 to improve to 4-6 on the year.
The Paladins, Region 1-2A's No. 4 seed, are set to travel to Region 2-2A champion and undefeated Skipstone Academy in the first round of the GAPPS 11-man playoffs. Pinecrest dropped the regular-season meeting between the teams by a 34-0 final score.