Battle of the Paladins: FCS Beats Pinecrest in Region Opener
It was a complete football game on Friday night for the Paladins from Fellowship Christian School.
The Paladins from Fellowship downed the Paladins from Pinecrest Academy, 47-14, in the Region opener for both schools played at Bob Lord Field on Sept. 6. It was the regular-season opener for Pinecrest.
"We played well in every phase of the game," head coach Al Morrell said. "We dominated the game on the line, our running backs ran tough, Eli [Hildebrandt] had a great game passing and Jordan [Brewer] had his best game of the season catching the football. There is absolutely nothing bad I can say about this game."
FCS had five rushing touchdowns against Pinecrest, including two apiece from freshman Jayven Hall and sophomore Josh Cole. Hildebrandt, a junior quarterback, junior Murphy Reeves and senior Trexton Lewis all had one rush TD for the Paladins.
Fellowship scored early and often on Sept. 6, taking a 28-0 lead after the first quarter on scoring runs by Hall (3 yards), Hildebrandt (14 yards), Lewis (30 yards) and another rush TD by Hall (14 yards).
FCS went to score three more times in the third quarter.
Following a Pinecrest punt, Cole scored on a 5-yard run at 7:37 of the third. Following a missed extra-point kick, the Paladins took a 34-7 advantage. The key play of the drive was a 24-yard pickup by Hall on the ground in the play right before the score.
Junior Joey Archer recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to set up another score for FCS. This time Reeves scored from 7 yards out behind a key block by senior Andrew Jordan. Hall gained 15 yards up the middle on the previous play.
Junior Matt Rodgers, who had four straight extra-point kicks in the first quarter, missed the extra-point kick but Fellowship held a commanding 40-7 advantage.
After another Pinecrest punt, Cole scored again from more than 20 yards out with 1:05 to go in the third. It was 47-7 at that point.
In the fourth quarter, Pinecrest scored a rush TD at 10:57, and the game ended as Fellowship sophomore Chidera Nwosu recovered a fumble.
FCS outgained Pinecrest in the game, 428-282, including a 392-124 advantage on the ground. Reeves led Fellowship with 135 yards on 11 attempts, while Hall had 90 yards on six carries and Hildebrandt added 71 yards on five touches.
Hall led the Paladin defense with four solo stops, four tackles for loss and two sacks. Archer topped the team with nine total tackles and six assisted stops. Lewis record five assisted tackles and Hall added four solo stops.
Junior Will Peterson went 1-for-2 in extra-point kicks.
The bye week on Aug. 30 seemed to help the Paladins, who are now 2-0 overall.
"We had a focused week of practice," said Morrell, now 46-24 at Fellowship. "Obviously we played well, and were ready for this game. It was a quality performance. I am very happy for the kids."
Fellowship travels to Marietta to take on The Walker School on Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m.
"They are a much improved team," Morrell said. "It should be a great football game."
(Photos from Jennifer Jordan)