Pinecrest advanced to the second round of the state 4AA football playoffs Friday with a 41-6 win over Cary Panther Creek in Southern Pines.
The Patriot defense had one of its best performances of the season, limiting No. 11-seed Panther Creek (6-6) to 172 yards of total offense and keeping the Catamount offense out of the end zone. Pinecrest linebacker Jacob Depauli earned Player of the Game recognition for multiple solo stops in the backfield.
Pinecrest rolled up 448 yards of offense, led by sophomore quarterback Ben Garbark who completed 8 of 11 passes for 120 yards including a 21-yard touchdown to Martra McManus and a 27-yard touchdown to Alex Roberts.
Senior running back Zaythan Hill saw limited action but managed a game high 102 yards on 10 carries with touchdown runs of 1 and 54 yards. Junior Nick Boulanger came off the bench for an 8-carry, 98-yard performance including a 31-yard touchdown, and senior Corey Patterson had 6-yard touchdown run.
Panther Creek's lone score was a 62-yard fumble return in third quarter.
The No. 6-seed Patriots improve to 9-3 on the season and visit No. 3 seed Holly Springs in Round 2.