JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – It was an historic night on Savior Field as the Mount Pisgah Patriots captured their first-ever Region 6-A championship, capping an undefeated regular season with a 41-26 win over Mount Zion.
Browning Dunn and Aaron Winchester again led the offense, with Dunn scoring three touchdowns and Winchester collecting 307 yards in total offense.
“It feels great to win the region,” said head coach Mike Forester. “The main reason it feels so good is for the kids who get to experience this. Especially since this is the first region championship [for the football team] in school history.”
The win also gave the No. 3 Patriots their first perfect regular season, finishing 10-0.
“It is a surprise,” Forester said. “I thought that 8-2 was a good possibility. Our two most exciting games against [Our Lady of] Mercy and Mount Paran were the two I wasn’t sure about. Plus maybe someone else is better than you thought.”
Friday’s game started off on a sour note for the Patriots, as the Screaming Eagles took the opening kickoff and marched 66 yards straight down the field for a touchdown, but failed to convert the two-point conversion. The Patriots took a brief 7-6 lead after a 2-yard touchdown run by Dunn and the extra point by Chase Clark. It was short lived as Mount Zion scored again on its next possession to take a 14-7 lead.
In the second quarter, the Patriots tied the game on a 26-yard run by Ben Miller. The Eagles had the Pisgah drive stopped, but a roughing penalty gave the Patriots a first down. The Patriots capitalized on it with the score.
Once again, Mount Zion came right back and scored again to take a 20-14 lead. Pisgah put together a drive of its own in the closing seconds of the half. With two seconds remaining, Winchester threw a 14-yard screen pass to Dunn for a touchdown and a 21-20 lead.
At the start of the third quarter, Winchester hit tight end Tommy Pease on a wheel route for a 26-yard score to up the lead to 28-20. A Patrick Messinger interception on the Eagles’ next possession gave Pisgah the ball back at its own 6 yard line. Two plays later, Pisgah was in the end zone again after Dunn scampers of 33 and 61 yards.
Mount Zion then fumbled on the next possession and was recovered by Noah Johnson. That led to a Winchester 6-yard pass to Miller to put the game out of reach at 41-20.
Winchester led the Patriots in both passing and rushing yards, going 11 for 15 for 187 yards and three touchdowns through the air and picking up 120 yards on 15 carries on the ground. Dunn had 116 rushing yards, while Miller added 158 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.
On defense, Nicky Piccapietra, Blake Smith and Ian Ainsworth each finished with 11 tackles.
The perfect Patriots will host the opening round of the GHSA Class A Private School playoffs in two weeks against a yet to be determined opponent.