MDJ Sports Correspondent
MABLETON — Pace Academy built a 31-0 halftime lead on Whitefield Academy and rolled to a 38-23 victory Friday night at Whitefield.
The Wolfpack came into the 2013 season after just missing the Class A private school playoffs with a 6-4 record in 2012. But a lackluster performance, including five turnovers, didn’t give Wolfpack fans much to cheer for in the season opener.
“It came unglued and discombobulated in the first half,” Whitefield Academy coach Jimmy Fields said. “I lost count of the turnovers and give coach (Chris) Slade and Pace Academy credit. They came in here and played hard and forced a lot of turnovers.”
Fields said he expects a better performance out of this year’s team,and adds that he will use the loss as a learning experience.
“You want to get off to a good start and certainly we’re disappointed,” he said. “But a lot happens between Week 1 and Week 2. We’ll continue to learn a lot about this team this week during practice and next Friday night.”
Pace Academy quarterback Kevin Johnson did most of the damage, completing 12 of 17 passes for 241 yards and three touchdwons — two of his passing touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown came in the first half.
After falling behind 9-0, Whitefield’s defense started to slow down Johnson. But Knights’ punter Aaron Wessermon put Whitefield on its own 1-yard line in the early minutes of the second quarter. Two plays later, Pace Academy forced a safety.
Johnson completed his onslaught on the Wolfpack defense in the second half, passing for a touchdown to Kameron Uter in the opening series.
Everett Pollard scored the first points of the season for Whitefield on a 60-yard run early in the third quarter, and then followed with a 5-yard run late in the fourth.
Pollard finished the game with 70 yards rushing and was 15-of-29 for 144 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception.
The Wolfpack’s Jordan Edge added the final score — a 28-yard touchdown run with 12 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.