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Football preview: Pinecrest Academy at Trion
Paladins seek 3-0 start
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Mitchell Ojeda and Pinecrest Academy look to take their explosive rushing attack to Trion. - photo by Micah Green

Pinecrest Academy at Trion

When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Sam R. McCain Memorial Stadium in Trion.

Records, rankings: Pinecrest is 2-0 overall, 0-0 in Region 6-A, Div. B and unranked; Trion is 3-0 overall, 0-0 and unranked.

Series record: Series tied 1-1.

Last meeting: Pinecrest won 10-8 in 2011.

What to know: Pinecrest finds itself with a big opportunity to make an early-season statement and bolster its position in the GHSA Power Ratings for Class A football. Trion is No. 2 in the Class A public school rankings after defeating LaFayette, 29-21, last week. Gabe Howell rushed for two touchdowns, while Drake Clowdis rushed for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass, helping the Bulldogs take down a Class AAAA opponent. Trion has great tradition, with state championships in 1957 and 1974, but it hasn’t advanced past the second round of the state playoffs since 2003.

The Paladins are coming off an impressive 42-14 win over Walker in which they rushed for 471 yards, led by sophomore quarterback Ryan McCarthy who broke the school’s single-game rushing record with 211 yards on 11 carries with three touchdowns. Pinecrest finds itself at No. 6 in the GHSA Power Ratings, well within the top 16 teams that make up the state playoffs at regular season’s end. The Paladins haven’t reached the state playoffs since joining the GHSA in 2010, but through two weeks they’ve looked the part of a playoff team with a strong running game and solid defense.