Berea threw a serious scare into homecoming festivities here Friday night.
Thanks to the Covey brothers, Pickens was able to breathe easy.
The Blue Flame rode a huge effort from brothers Gunner and Mason Covey, blasting past the winless Bulldogs for a 55-34 comeback win in a Peach Blossom AAA Region game.
Berea led 28-20 midway through the third quarter before Pickens (5-1, 3-0) outscored the Bulldogs 35-6 the rest of the way for the win.
“I’m glad the way they came back,” Pickens coach Chad Seaborn said. “It was a battle at halftime, a battle at the end of the fourth quarter. (My team) kept responding and made plays when we had to. I’m proud of the way they persevered tonight.”
Gunner, a sophomore, finished with five touchdowns. He had 13 carries for 128 yards and three rushing scores and had four catches for 66 yards and two touchdowns. Brother Mason, a senior, added seven catches for 136 yards and a 65-yard touchdown.
The game shifted midway through the third quarter on a third-down play at the Berea 30.
Leading 28-27, Berea (0-6, 0-3) used quarterback Drew Evett for a short-yardage sneak. He was stuffed and limped off the field with an ankle injury that would end his evening.
Berea coach Robbie Cole opted to use Shideaz Adams in a wildcat look on fourth down, but he was met at the line and swarmed for no gain.
Three plays later, Gunner Covey ran nine yards for a 33-28 lead.
Following a Berea three-and-out and 9-yard punt, Gunner Covey gave Pickens some breathing room with a 22-yard catch-and-run down the right sideline for a touchdown, making the score 40-28 with 1:30 left in the quarter.
The Bulldogs weren’t done: Adams converted a third- and fourth-down in Pickens territory, and Kevin Hunter finished the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run, cutting the lead to 40-34 with 9:05 to play.
Gunner Covey did the rest, adding a pair of scores – a 10-yard reception and a 7-yard run – for the final margin.
Evett completed 20 of 33 passes for 235 yards with two touchdowns, but Berea scored just six points after his exit. Adams, a running quarterback, was unable to stretch Pickens’ defense.
“That changed what they were doing,” Seaborn said. “I hate that he got hurt, but that was a huge turning point in the game.”