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Pinecrest Academy limps to finish with loss to Mount Zion
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Mattew Walters scored Pinecrest Academy’s only touchdown. - photo by Bill Brown

CARROLLTON – Three turnovers were too much for Pinecrest Academy to overcome in a 26-7 loss at Mount Zion on Friday in the regular season finale.

It was not the kind of tune-up the Paladins hoped to end the regular season on. Pinecrest (7-3) was out-gained 310-164 on offense. The Paladins’ passing game struggled as quarterback Ryan McCarthy completed just 2 of 14 passes for 17 yards and two interceptions.

Pinecrest fullback Matthew Walters was the lone bright spot, rushing for 96 yards on 22 carries. He scored the Paladins’ lone touchdown on a 1-yard run with 3:16 left in the game.

By that time, Mount Zion had already broken open a game it led just 7-0 at halftime on a 3-yard run by Matt Turner. Turner increased the Bulldogs’ lead with a 12-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to make it 13-0.

Then Mount Zion left no doubt in the fourth quarter about the outcome with a 5-yard touchdown run by Matt Chambers and a 9-yard touchdown pass to Richard Farly from CJ Ackles.

Still, Pinecrest is all but assured a spot in the Class A playoffs for the first time since joining the Georgia High School Association in 2010. The Paladins entered Friday’s game at No. 6 in the latest Power Ratings for Class A private school football, well within bounds of the top 16 teams who will make up the Class A playoffs which start Nov. 14.