It took a while, but Pickens’ rushing game wore down Travelers Rest and allowed the Blue Flame to leave Chico Bolin Stadium with a 42-6 victory Friday in the Peach Blossom AAA Region opener for both schools.
After Pickens fumbled on its opening possession, the Devildogs scored their only points of the night when fullback Toriano Pone took a handoff and raced 38 yards for a touchdown. Travelers Rest (1-3, 0-1) was unable to add a two-point conversion attempt but led 6-0.
Travelers Rest forced a three-and-out on Pickens’ next possession, but a roughing-the-punter penalty kept the Blue Flame’s drive alive. They took advantage by scoring four plays later on a 3-yard run by Angus Anderson for a 7-6 lead
With less than four minutes left in the half, Travelers Rest was stopped when it attempted a fake punt play from its 45. Four plays and 35 yards later, Pickens took a 14-6 lead on a 4-yard run by Anderson.
From there, the Blue Flame (2-2, 1-0) controlled the game. They opened the third quarter with a seven-play drive capped by Cameron Holder’s 17-yard touchdown run.
After Pickens defensive back Tanner Saunders intercepted a Devildog pass on their next possession, the Blue Flame increased their lead to 28-6 on Anderson’s 78-yard run after a pitch from quarterback Austin Clark.
“I think we started kind of slow,” said Anderson, “but I think we wore them down. In the second half we just ran the ball and they could not stop us.”
Pickens added two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Antron Wakefield rushed for a 7-yard touchdown, and Clark added a 3-yard run for the final points.
The Blue Flame host Eastside next week, and the Devildogs travel to Greer.