GAINESVILLE — Pinecrest Academy smashed Lakeview Academy 43-3 on Friday on the road.
It was the Paladins’ third straight win, though one that won’t officially count with the Georgia High School Association since Lakeview isn’t a region-member in football.
But it was an important win nonetheless for Pinecrest. The Paladins rushed for a total of 230 yards while holding the Lions to only 81 yards rushing. Pinecrest finished with a total of 76 passing yards and Lakeview had negative 7 yards.
Pinecrest freshman quarterback Ryan McCarthy led the Paladins (2-1) with 96 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries, while fullback Andrew Wilborn rushed for 64 yards on 16 carries.
"It was a solid win," Pinecrest coach Todd Winter said. "I told the kids at our team meeting before the game that we’ve got to play a complete game. We’ve played some good games. Every week our defense has played really well. But we hadn’t played a complete game. I thought [tonight] we played a very complete game.
"We’re so young that it’s minute by minute, day by day. All three games that we’ve won we’ve faced a lot of adversity, so I think those situations are building a lot of confidence in our kids. That’s what it’s all about – build confidence and get a little better every day."
Lakeview went up in the first quarter when Chance Calderhead kicked a 33-yard field goal to make the score 3-0 with 4:08 left.
Not long after, Anthony Carco threw a halfback pass 73 yards wide receiver Christopher Birozes for a touchdown. Birozes then kicked the extra point to make it 7-3, Pinecrest.
"That was a momentum-builder for us," Winter said.
In the second quarter with 7:33 to go, McCarthy rushed 1-yard for a touchdown to put Pinecrest up 14-3. Birozes added a 30-yard field goal right before halftime to make it 17-3.
McCarthy added touchdown runs of 2 and 1 yards respectively in the third quarter to put Pinecrest up 30-3.
With 2:31 to go in the third quarter, running back Adam Guard carried the ball four yards for a touchdown to give the Paladins a 37-3 lead.
McCarthy added his last touchdown, a 35-yard run in the fourth quarter, to end the scoring
After the game, Winter told his team to "enjoy this win tonight, enjoy it Saturday, enjoy it on Sunday. Put it behind you come Monday."
Carco was pleased after the win.
"I owe this game to my team," Carco said.