HUNTSVILLE — The Pisgah football team’s season came to a close Friday night.

Pisgah suffered a 47-28 Class 3A first-round playoff loss to the Westminster Christian Wildcats at Earl Van Dyke Stadium in Huntsville.

Pisgah head coach Luke Pruitt was proud of the way his team, especially its 12 seniors, battled throughout the contest.

“I’m proud of our kids. I thought they fought to the end,” said Pruitt. “I’ve got a lot of respect for our seniors. I’m proud of what they’ve done, and they’ll hold a special place in my heart.”

Pisgah finished 4-7. Meanwhile, Westminster Christian (8-2) hosts No. 3-ranked Randolph County in the second round next week.

Westminster Christian got on the board early when it blocked Pisgah’s first punt of the game and Clayton Doll returned the loose ball for a touchdown. Pisgah got the ball right back and was forced to punt again. The Wildcats scored three plays later on a touchdown pass from Jackson Billings to Samuel Sheppard. Westminster was up 14-0 after running only three offensive plays. The Eagles answered with a 10-play, 5:10 scoring drive of its own. Quarterback Parker Law punched it in on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The score was set up by Nate Cornelison’s 58-yard run. Law found Cameron Free for the two-point conversion, and Pisgah trailed 14-8 after the first quarter. 

Westminster Christian scored first in the second quarter on Billings 1-yard touchdown run. Pisgah answered with a big special teams play of its own. Cornelison picked up the ensuing kickoff on the 22-yard line and returned it 78 yards for a touchdown. That would be the Eagles’ last score of the half. Westminster scored 13 unanswered points on a Billings touchdown run and his second touchdown pass to Sheppard. Pisgah was behind 33-14 at the half. 

Westminster Christian received the second half kickoff and wasted no time extending its lead. Billings threw his third touchdown of the night to Evan Sheppard. Pisgah put together another long scoring drive and Cornelison ran it in from 13 yards out. The two-point conversion attempt was successful, and Pisgah trailed 40-22 midway through the third quarter. The Wildcats scored again late in the quarter on Henry Claunch’s 1-yard run. Westminster Christian led 47–22 after three quarters of play. 

Cornelison scored his second rushing touchdown of the game with 2:46 left in the game. 

Cornelison led the Pisgah offense with 177 rushing yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns. Billings led the way on offense for Westminster Christian. The senior quarterback completed his first 23 passes and finished with 350 passing yards. He completed 26 of 27 attempts and threw two touchdowns. He added two touchdowns rushing as well. 

Pruitt has his eyes set on the 2020, where he’ll have several starters returning. 

“We had a lot of young guys that played this year, and we have a lot to build off of,” said Pruitt. “It’ll be hard to replace those 12 seniors, but we’ll take a week off and get ready to go back to work.”

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