logo 400

Final: Wake Forest 49 - Pinecrest 7

Wake Forest took advantage of five Pinecrest turnovers to beat the Patriots 49-7 and advance to the state 4AA football championship game for the third straight year.

Regional final newcomer Pinecrest started strong holding No. 1 ranked Wake Forest (13-0) to 14 yards of offense in the first quarter. Then quarterback Mateo Supido pieced together a 10-play drive that ended with the senior scoring on a one-yard run midway through the second frame.

After a Patriot three and out, Wake Forest put together another six-play drive that ended with Pinecrest senior cornerback Shymeik Reaves intercepting a Supido pass in the end zone — the only Cougar turnover on the night.

On the next play, Pinecrest senior quarterback Greg Van Steen threw a lateral pass toward the Patriot sideline that was swatted down by Cougar defender Chance Smith who then scooped up the live ball and returned it six yards for the touchdown and a 14-0 Wake Forest lead.

With 38 seconds left in the half, Supido completed a 56-yard catch and run to Traevon Kenion to put the Cougars up 21-0.

Pinecrest sophomore quarterback Ben Garbark scored the Patriots only touchdown early in the third quarter converting a fourth and one into a 56-yard sprint to the end zone. Freshman Kessler Atkinson's PAT made it 21-7.

Wake Forest added a touchdown run in the third, then converted a blocked punt, an interception and a fumbled punt into touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make what was a close game appear anything but.

Patriot senior running back Zaythan Hill was the leading rusher but was held to 87 total yards on 19 carries — well below his 127 average per game.

Van Steen finished 3-for-5 passing for 41 yards and one interception, and Garbark was 1 of 11 passing for 13 yards and an interception. The Patriots were held to 204 yards of total offense and yielded 324 to the Cougars.

The Patriot defense was led by senior linebacker Jacob Depauli who earned MooreSportsRadio.com player of the game. Senior nose guard Rodney Evans, senior tackle Aiden Austin and junior lineback Levi Bear also had standout performances for Pinecrest.

Wake Forest has won 44 straight games and faces Henderson Vance (14-1) for the state 4AA championship next week. Vance defeated Myers Park (13-2) 21-13 Friday.

Pinecrest finishes the season 11-4. #goPinecrest #MSRscores