Rosepine outpaces Pickering
ROSEPINE — Sophomore running back Grant Ducote powered the Rosepine Eagles to a 50-20 win over Vernon Parish and District 5-2A rival Pickering Friday night.
Despite missing the third quarter after getting shaken up on a defensive play at the end of the first half, Ducote ran for 150 yards and three touchdowns and caught a pair of passes for 52 yards.
“There is no quit in him,” Rosepine head coach Brad Ducote said. “Right there at halftime, we were worried we had lost him.
“We sat him out and went through the protocol and everything, and we were able to get him back in. He is a big part of what we do. He kind of makes us go, him and (Ethan) Frey.”
Ducote’s first touch was a big one as he busted through several would-be tacklers to score on a 57-yard run 11 seconds into the game.
With 5 minutes left in the first quarter, Ducote scored on a 9-yard run after a 34-yard catch on third down by Jake Smith, then added a 12-yard score with 8:26 left in the second quarter that put the Eagles up 21-0.
He made a 30-yard catch on third-and-10 to set up the Eagles’ other first-half score, a 6-yard keeper by Frey.
On defense, Ducote made two tackles behind the line of scrimmage in the first half.
Rosepine finished with 450 yards total offense and forced three turnovers on defense.
“We practiced hard all week and we felt good about our game plan offensively and defensively, and the kids executed it well,” Ducote said. “All game long they kept executing and fighting.
“We got an extra possession to start the second half, and that was a really big deal.”
Pickering cut Rosepine’s lead to 21-8 with 4:39 left in the first half when Deshawn Jackson made a leaping 44-yard grab on a pass from Marlon Sweeney.
The Red Devils had another scoring opportunity wiped out at the end of the first quarter when Smith picked off a pass in the end zone.
Pickering (4-2, 2-1) fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half and Lane Willis recovered it. That set up Frey’s second touchdown and a 36-8 lead.
Isiah Stinson intercepted a pass with 39 seconds left in the third quarter.
The win was a big boost for the Eagles (3-2, 2-1), who entered the game ranked 30th in the Class 2A power ratings.
“It is a big win,” Ducote said. “(The Red Devils) have four wins and we only had two, so we are going to get a lot of power points off of them.
“They are a good football team and well coached, and I have a lot of respect for coach (Ryan) Russo. I knew they were going to come out ready to beat us, and they have the weapons to. It is a big win, and it sets us up to finish strong.”
Freeney completed 16 of 25 passes for 255 yards and threw an 81-yard touchdown to Evan Fernandez in the fourth quarter. Fernandez had five catches for 142 yards, and Jackson made 10 for 115 yards.
“Going into the game, we knew they were going to get a couple of 50-50 ball,” Ducote said. “We were just going to keep them down to a minimum.
“(Deshawn Jackson) can go get it. We knew he was going to get a few of them. We said if we can limit him to two, we would be OK.”