NORCROSS -- Wesleyan came into its Friday night contest with confidence and a three-game winning streak. It ended the night with a four-game streak and more positive energy following a 42-14 win over Pinecrest Academy in Norcross.
"I like the way we started out in the first quarter and I like the way we came out in the second half," Wesleyan coach Franklin Pridgen said.
Following a turnover on Pinecrest Academy's opening possession, Wesleyan (6-2, 4-1 Region 5-A North) lit up the scoreboard thanks to a 10-yard Zander Yost run up the middle.
The Wolves added onto the lead late in the opening quarter as receiver Rodney Morris ran by a Pinecrest Academy corner, gathered a Will Anderson pass and galloped into the end zone for a 45-yard touchdown that put Wesleyan up 14-0.
The momentum stopped in the second quarter, thanks to an 18-play drive by Pinecrest Academy (2-7, 0-6) to open the second quarter. The Wolves allowed four third-down conversions on the drive as Pinecrest Academy ran over 11 minutes off of the clock.
However, Wesleyan made the marathon drive futile as a 37-yard field goal attempt fell short thanks to pressure from the Wolves' special teams.
Wesleyan seemed to have dodged a bullet, but on the ensuing possession, Anderson had his passed picked off by linebacker Adam Maresco, who ran the interception back 26 yards for Pinecrest Academy's only score of the half.
Despite the halftime advantage, Pinecrest Academy ran almost three times as many plays (39) as Wesleyan (16).
Just like it did two weeks ago against King's Ridge, Wesleyan came out determined in the second half. First, the Wolves capped a physical eight-play, 80-yard drive, which featured seven running plays, with a short touchdown run by Brandon Gilliam to go up by 14.
Following a fumble by Pinecrest Academy, Anderson, who threw for 336 yards and four touchdowns, found tight end Mason Colquitt wide open for a 15-yard score on the ensuing play to put Wesleyan in complete control of the contest.
"He is fantastic," Pridgen said of Anderson. "He is extremely mature in the way that he plays and the results speak for themselves."
The Wolves' next possession also lasted just one play as Morris, who caught three passes for a game-high 121 yards and two scores, took an Anderson screen pass, broke two tackles and ran into the end zone for a 51-yard score.
"We are in rhythm, we are getting our timing down ever since I came back and we have been able to work on all our route packages... it is just starting to click more and more," Anderson said.
The Wolves blitzed Pinecrest Academy for 21 points in less than six minutes to put the game out of reach in the third, Anderson tossed two touchdowns and matched his first-half total of 133 passing yards in the quarter.
Pridgen knows how important it is for his team to finish strong as the end of the season nears.
"Every week is a playoff game and we have a lot to play for, we have something at stake every week, nothing is settled," the coach said.