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Football preview: Pinecrest Academy at North Springs
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Jake Mangan and Pinecrest Academy are eager to see if they can get back to the state playoffs. - photo by File photo

Pinecrest Academy at North Springs

When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Thermopylae Stadium in Atlanta.

Records, rankings: Pinecrest is 0-0 overall, 0-0 in Region 6-A, Div. B and unranked in Class A; North Springs is 0-1 overall, 0-0 in Region 7-AAAAA, Div. B and unranked in Class AAAAAA.

Series history: Pinecrest leads 1-0.

Last meeting: Pinecrest won 21-14 in 2014.

What to know: North Springs has been among the toughest places to win in Georgia this century. The Spartans have gone winless five times since 2006, 1-9 four times since 2004 and went 2-8 last season in head coach Steve Horton’s second season. (Fun fact: it was from North Springs that former South Forsyth head coach Norris Vaughn came in 1996. Vaughn was 17-4 in two seasons at North Springs. He went on to become the winningest football coach in Forsyth County history, going 58-31-1 in eight seasons at South).

Pinecrest used this game last season as a catalyst for going 7-4 and reaching the state playoffs in the Georgia High School Association for the first time. It was the first time the Paladins had played a GHSA team above Class AAA, which also boosted Pinecrest’s standing in the Class A Football Power Ratings. Pinecrest enters this season expecting to get back to the state playoffs, particularly with plenty of playmakers back on offense like quarterback Ryan McCarthy and running back Mitchell Ojeda.