By Will Grice
For the Forsyth County News
Pinecrest Academy defeated Flint River Academy on Friday, bouncing back from its first loss of the season with a convincing 35-6 win.
The game was a complete mismatch on both sides of the ball, as the Paladins dominated from start to finish.
The Wildcat offense was static for almost the entire game. The triple option offense the Wildcats were running had no effect fooling the Pinecrest defenders.
“They’re huge, very strong and come off the ball well,” Pinecrest head coach Shawn Coury said. “We practiced all week on knowing their assignments so we could know what they are running. We executed what we practiced this week.”
It wasn’t until the Wildcats' fifth drive that they were able to pick up a first down. The first down was followed by a couple more, and the Wildcats finally found themselves with a chance to score halfway through the second quarter.
With a second-and-goal from the 9-yard line, the Wildcats fumbled the ball into the arms of Pinecrest defensive end Ryan Bartling, who returned the ball 91 yards for a touchdown. That touchdown put the Paladins up 28-0, and any chance the Wildcats had at making the game competitive essentially disappeared after that play.
The Paladins' offense faced little resistance in the game, with quarterback Breckin Barbee and running back Brock Barbee the main beneficiary of the Wildcats' porous defense.
Brock Barbee had 84 yards in the game and scored two touchdowns. Breckin Barbee threw for 123 yards, which included a beautiful 79-yard touchdown pass to Bartling, and rushed for another touchdown.
Pinecrest Academy takes the field against Flint River Academy
The only thing the Paladins had to worry about in the game was a helmet-to-helmet hit on receiver Sebastian Santa Maria that had everyone in the stadium holding their breath.
“He’s all right,” Coury said. “Sebastian is a first-year player, so he loves to play and wanted to get out there. He held him on the sideline for precautionary reasons.”
Santa Maria was able to walk off the field under his own power and watched the rest of the game from the bench, which was a welcome sight to see.
Moments later, Breckin Barbee scrambled for an 11-yard touchdown to score the first points of the game.
The Paladins were able to bounce back from their loss last week to head into their bye week playing winning football. The Paladins stand at 3-1 on the season and seemed to be heading in the right direction.
“The bye week is pretty awesome,” Coury said. “We’ve played three very physical games, so it’s nice to have that time away. I’m really proud of where they are right now, and we’ll just keep moving forward.”