Pinecrest Academy at Mount Zion
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Mount Zion Stadium in Carrollton.
Records, rankings: Pinecrest is 7-2 overall, 4-1 in Region 6-A, Div. B and unranked; Mount Zion is 6-3 overall, 3-1 in Region 6-A, Div. A and unranked.
Series history: First meeting.
What to know: The Paladins enter the game assured of a spot in the Class A private school playoffs for the first time since joining the GHSA. Pinecrest sits at No. 6 in the latest Power Ratings for Class A private school football, a nice spot to be in for a team that can’t get one of the eight automatic berths awarded to region champions. But a win against Mount Zion is sure to help the Paladins’ playoff seed.
And Pinecrest is coming off its most dominating performance of the season in a 56-21 victory over King’s Ridge. The Paladins built a 35-7totaled 631 yards of offense, including 572 on the ground. Three players rushed for over 100 yards in Mitchell Ojeda (165), Greg Varghese (122) and Ryan McCarthy (105). Jake Mangan wasn’t far behind with 93 yards. Peter Nelson had two interceptions, Greg Metz another and Pinecrest had three sacks. The win helped Pinecrest reach seven wins for the first time since 2009, the program’s last season in GISA.
Mount Zion won’t be so easy, its 48-20 loss to Mount Paran last week notwithstanding. The Eagles outscored opponents 76-7 in their three region victories, including a 21-0 victory over a Trion team that Pinecrest defeated 21-14. Plus, Mount Zion has its own playoff-seeding aspirations as the Eagles currently sit at No. 8 in the latest Power Ratings for Class A public school football.
Maxwell Projection: Pinecrest by 5.