Aaron Winchester threw two touchdown passes to Ben Miller in the final five minutes, including the game-winning 18-yarder with 28.9 seconds remaining, as Mount Pisgah Christian rallied from a 24-14 deficit to defeat Mount Paran Christian and clinch the Region 6-A Division B championship on Friday.
The Patriots drove 57 yards in just more than a minute after taking the ball over on downs at their 43-yard line with 1:30 to play. Winchester completed four of five passes for 50 yards and rushed twice for seven yards on the game-winning drive.
Mount Pisgah (8-0, 4-0) hosts Fellowship Christian week and then will face the fourth-place team from subregion A in a crossover game. Ninth-ranked Mount Paran (6-2, 3-1) falls into second place in the subregion. The Eagles face defending subregion champion Walker next week before concluding the regular season with a crossover game. Unlike in the higher classifications, however, Class A crossover games don’t determine state playoff berths. Class A uses a power ranking system to set its playoff fields for the private and public schools.
Mount Pisgah got a big break midway through the fourth quarter, when it had the ball fourth-and-1 4 at the Mount Paran 23. The Patriots were going to go for the first down, but Mount Paran jumped offside and the Patriots decided to kick a field goal once they got it a little closer to the end zone. However, two more offsides penalties on Mount Paran moved the ball to the 8 and gave Mount Pisgah a first down. From there, Winchester threw a touchdown pass to Miller to cut the lead to 24-21 with 4:41 to play.
Winchester finished the game 21-for-40 passing for 278 yards and four touchdowns and carried 16 times for 60 yards, but Mount Pisgah never led until the final minute.
That’s because Mount Paran controlled the game early with a running game led by Dorian Walker and Emoni Williams. Walker scored on a 2-yard run in the first quarter and a 40-yarder in the third and finished with 170 yards on 28 carries. Williams had 109 yards on eight carries, and his 72-yard run in the fourth quarter gave the Eagles a 24-14 lead.
But the Eagles couldn’t put Mount Pisgah away. Mount Paran hurt itself with two first-half turnovers and had a short field goal blocked in the first quarter.
Mount Pisgah – 0-7-7-14 – 28
Mount Paran – 7-3-7-7 – 24
Pa – Dorian Walker 2 run (Dallas Kepler kick)
Pa – Kepler 37 field goal
Pi – Oz Dixon 10 pass from Aaron Winchester (Chase Clark kick)
Pa –Walker 40 run (Kepler kick)
Pi – Browning Dunn 49 pass from Winchester (Clark kick)
Pa – Emoni Williams 72 run (Kepler kick)
Pi – Ben Miller 8 pass from Winchester (Clark kick)
Pi – Miller 18 pass from Winchester (Clark kick)