Pinecrest Academy held off Mount Pisgah Christian in the final seconds for a gritty 28-25 win Friday in a Region 6-A, Div. B game.
Mount Pisgah (3-4, 2-1) scored a touchdown and converted the two-point attempt with less than four minutes left to bring the score within three before they would get their final attempt to tie the game. With 25 seconds left, Patriots kicker Chase Clark got the chance to send the game into overtime, but missed the 39-yard attempt just to the left.
Paladins junior quarterback Ryan McCarthy led the team with 161 yards rushing and had all four touchdowns, with them all coming on the ground. Seniors Gregory Varhese and Mitchell Ojeda also ran the ball well for Pinecrest with 95 yards rushing on 15 carries between them. The Paladins only had 32 yards passing, with 26 of them coming on a wide receiver pass in the second quarter that set up a McCarthy one-yard touchdown run. McCarthy also had one of the two sacks for Pinecrest, with junior William Brown getting the other.
“We played really well,” McCarthy said. “The defense really stepped up. We played great as a team.”
Pinecrest started out quickly after a 47-yard run by McCarthy that eventually led to a one-yard touchdown run by McCarthy. However, the Patriots managed to quickly run down the field and scored on an eight-yard run by their sophomore quarterback Jacob Cendoya. Pinecrest scored two more touchdowns before the half to take a 21-7 halftime lead.
The third quarter was all Mount Pisgah as they made their comeback, outscoring the Paladins 10-0 before their rally inevitably fell short.
Cedoya led the Patriots in rushing with 77 yards on 24 carries with the one rushing touchdown. He also played well throwing the ball as he completed 16 of 31 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Senior receiver Justin Gilvin led the team in receiving with nine catches for 103 yards and a touchdown.
The Paladins held the Patriots to 0 for 9 on third downs, although the Patriots did complete all four fourth-down attempts.
After the victory, Paladins’ head coach Todd Winter was pleased with the way his team and defense stepped up in the end.
“Well I feel really good,” Winter said. “It was kind of a weird night. We really put our defense in some tough situations tonight with field position. But what I am really happy about is we took care of the football; no turnovers. Field position was tough for us. They had short fields. That made it tough on our defense. We also kept shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties, but I was really proud of our defense.”