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Football: Pinecrest leaps past Lake Oconee in opener
Breckin Barbee hurdles a defender Friday during the Paladins' 41-7 win over Lake Oconee. - photo by David Roberts

By Derrick Richemond 

For the Forsyth County News 

Pinecrest could do nothing wrong Friday during its 41-7 win over Lake Oconee.

The Paladins scored quickly on their first drive from a pass by Paladins’ quarterback Breckin Barbee to Colin Brown. 

Once Brown made a move on a titan, he stormed his way to the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown. 

“We ran that play every single day of the week, so I knew it was coming to me,” Brown said “I didn’t drop it all this week, and I was like, 'This better not be the one that I drop,' but Breckin threw a good ball and I was able to catch it."

 As soon as it looked like the Titans were going to get their first opportunity on the field, Pinecrest punched the ball out of the hands of the Titans' kick returner to get the ball back on their 23-yard line. 

The Paladins took advantage of the turnover on a play-action pass to Ryan Bartling for the touchdown. 

Bartling did not only score with his hands. He also ran in it to increase the Paladins' lead 21-0.

“The boys executed what we practiced, essentially,” Pinecrest head coach Shawn Coury said “They worked really hard this summer and really put in a great effort trying to learn what we were trying to do. We made it through a hot night without any cramps or any things like that. We were prepared”

The Titans' best drive came late in the second quarter, but Pinecrest made a goal-line stand to prevent a score before halftime. 

Although there was barely any time left on the clock, Pinecrest made the best of it. It first started with a 36-yard carry by running back Brock Barbee. 

Next, on the 50-yard line with only 11 seconds remaining, Colin Brown took the handoff, shredded one Titan, then used his acceleration toward the sideline to get by defenders. 

No one could stop Brown from seeing the end zone as he walked in to increase Pinecrest Paladins' lead by 34 points.

As the second half rolled around, the Paladins' defense made it tough for the Titans to gain any yards on their opening drive, with the Titans quarterback picking up two intentional grounding calls.

“I like our tackling,” head coach Shawn Coury said. “We’ve really been trying to work on not just tackling safely but tackling properly so we can take guys down. We did a good job wrapping up. Tackling really stood the most [for our defense].”

As a result, the defense forced Lake Oconee's offense to get off the field, which led to Breckin Barbee scrambling for his second rushing touchdown to give the Paladins a 41-0 lead. 

Lake Oconee refused to leave their first-ever game scoreless, as quarterback Garret Payne pushed his way in on a sneak to give them their first score. 

Pinecrest [1-0] has a bye next week and will face Cherokee Christian at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10.