- Local News
--By Abbey Bohn on --
The Pinecrest Paladins had an impressive start to their region season Friday night with a 30-20 victory over the Lakeview Lions. Running their triple option offense, Coach Winter said,” The triple option offense is effective because it requires intelligence and discipline to be effective, both of which are present at Pinecrest.”
After a relatively uneventful 1st period, the first points of the game came after a Lakeview fumble. On an attempt to convert the 3rd down on the Lakeview 30-yd line, Chris Birozes completed a halfback pass to Zach Guard early in the second period. The Lions responded on the next drive with a 13-yd touchdown run by Caleb Faulkner to tie the game. With less than 1 minute left in the first half, at the Paladins 25-yd line, Lions quarterback Ted Reynolds completed a touchdown pass to senior fullback Trevor Price to obtain a 14-7 lead.
On the opening series of the 2nd half, the Paladins drove to the 19-yd line where Birozes kicked a 36-yd field goal and brought the Paladins within four points, making the score 14-10. Throughout the 3rd period, the game remained evenly matched with both teams making key defensive plays. The 4th period began with Lakeview leading until the Pinecrest special teams took over, sealing the win for the Paladins. After Birozes delivered an almost 60-yd punt, which put the Lions inside their own 5-yd, Lakeview fumbled, and Pinecrest sophomore Jacob Hanley recovered the ball on the 2-yd line, setting up senior and captain Jimmy Strom for the keeper touchdown putting the Paladins ahead 17-14. On the Lions next drive, Reynolds was intercepted by Hanley, allowing the Paladins to resume offense on their 25-yd line. However, Pinecrest was unable to convert the drive and turned the ball over inside the Lakeview 10-yd line.
With less than 5 minutes to play, senior quarterback Ted Reynolds snuck around the left side and ran 94 yards for the touchdown, giving the Lions a 20-17 lead. In the final two minutes of the game, Jimmy Strom completed a 43-yd touchdown pass to Zach Guard, allowing the Paladins to surge ahead. Guard finished the game with 2 touchdowns, and a total of 83 yds. averaging 10 yds. per carry. To clinch the Paladin victory, on the Lions next drive, junior Alex Brenner intercepted Reynolds, for the Lions 5th turnover of the night, and ran it back to the Lions’ 5-yd line. After the game Brenner said, “I felt like we were more organized than in games past. The team was more focused, players knew where they were needed and how to play their position, which helped us convert on big plays.”
Overall the Paladins played a great game, on both sides of the ball and really stepped it up regarding special teams. Senior and captain John Paul Metz lead the team with a total of 9 tackles and put up an impressive 55 yards rushing as well. Birozes averaging almost 60 yds. per kickoff as well as averaging 40 yds. per punt. “The linemen,” commented Birozes, ”played a great game, covering their men and doing their jobs. But the finish of that game was one to remember.” Although the Lions gained 427 yds. on offense compared to Pinecrest’s 236 yds, Lakeview’s 5 turnovers proved to be costly in the final outcome.
Another key aspect of Friday’s game included the fan base and school spirit, made a priority by the Senior Class of 2013. Zach Guard said regarding the finish of the game,” It was great to see the Paladins fight back and win one in the fourth quarter. It took the whole PA nation: fans, players, and coaches to be able to accomplish this.”
Coming off of a great win, the Paladins travel Friday to play Hebron Christian Academy.