Pinecrest's defense made critical stops and scored an insurance touchdown late in the game as the Patriots upset previously undefeated Scotland 36-28 Thursday in Laurinburg.
Tied at 21 at the half, Pinecrest had a disastrous start to the third quarter. The Patriots lost three players to injury on the first series that ended with a 34-yard pick six by Scotland's Kris McLean.
Pinecrest and Scotland battled back and forth deep into the fourth quarter when a pair of costly Scotland penalties and a sustained Patriot drive ended with a 17-yard Nicholas Marella touchdown run. Trailing by one on the road, Coach Chris Metzger took a timeout then called for the two-point conversion that was completed by Savion Kizer giving Pinecrest a 29-28 lead with 2:26 to play.
The Scots moved the ball quickly into Patriot territory, but a fumble by quarterback Bruce Wall was scooped up by Pinecrest's Logan Laton and returned 48 yards for a touchdown. Jeff Yurk added his fourth PAT of the night for the 36-28 lead.
Scotland advanced the ball into the Patriot red zone in the final seconds with no timeouts, but the Pinecrest defense made a final stand inside the five yard line to secure the win.
Pinecrest quarterback Ben Garbark completed 10 of 18 passes for 178 yards and two interceptions. He also had touchdown tosses to Niquan Hill (19 yards) and Braxton Barber (20 yards).
Nick Boulanger led the Patriot ground game with five carries for 74 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter. The Patriots finished with 304 yards of total offense.
Pinecrest gave up 432 yards to Scotland, but the Patriot defense held Scots' offense scoreless in the second half.
Pinecrest improves to 8-1 overall, 4-1 in Sandhills Athletic Conference play. Scotland is also 8-1; 4-1. The Patriots are now 11-31-1 all time against the the Scots and have won the last two meetings.
Pinecrest hosts Jack Britt (7-2; 3-2) next week.