Daniel escapes with win over Pickens

Daniel escapes with win over Pickens

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Daniel escapes with win over Pickens

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Daniel head coach Randy Robinson coaches against Pickens Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Daniel head coach Randy Robinson coaches against Pickens Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Pickens' Adam Thomas (32) throws a TD against Daniel Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Pickens’ Adam Thomas (32) throws a TD against Daniel Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Daniel's Avery Conrad (43) brings down Pickens' Adam Thomas (32) Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Daniel’s Avery Conrad (43) brings down Pickens’ Adam Thomas (32) Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Pickens quarterback Tanner Stegall (12) scrambles for a big gain against Daniel Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Pickens quarterback Tanner Stegall (12) scrambles for a big gain against Daniel Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Pickens quarterback Tanner Stegall (12) scrambles for a big gain against Daniel Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Pickens quarterback Tanner Stegall (12) scrambles for a big gain against Daniel Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Pickens quarterback Tanner Stegall (12) is tackled by Daniel's Avery Conrad (43) Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Pickens quarterback Tanner Stegall (12) is tackled by Daniel’s Avery Conrad (43) Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Daniel's Will Swinney (16) reacts after catching a TD against Pickens Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Daniel’s Will Swinney (16) reacts after catching a TD against Pickens Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Daniel's CJ Scott (21) carries against Pickens Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Daniel’s CJ Scott (21) carries against Pickens Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Daniel's Carter Groomes (8) celebrates with Jacob Maloney (11) after intercepting a Pickens pass Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Daniel’s Carter Groomes (8) celebrates with Jacob Maloney (11) after intercepting a Pickens pass Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Daniel's D'Benjamin Gardner (77) and Avery Conrad (43) bring down Pickens' Brandon Batson (27) Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Daniel’s D’Benjamin Gardner (77) and Avery Conrad (43) bring down Pickens’ Brandon Batson (27) Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Daniel's Carter Groomes (8) holds the ball up after intercepting a Pickens pass Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Daniel’s Carter Groomes (8) holds the ball up after intercepting a Pickens pass Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Daniel quarterback Ben Batson (9) carries against Pickens Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

Daniel quarterback Ben Batson (9) carries against Pickens Friday, October 16, 2015 at Daniel High in Central.

CENTRAL – Daniel overcame its own errors by withstanding several late Pickens’ attempts at a game-winner to forge a 28-24 Western AAA home victory Friday night.

Daniel (3-5, 3-2) had to survive a pass on the final play of the game that went just past the hands of Pickens fullback Gunner Covey at the goal line to get the win.

The Blue Flame (3-5, 2-3) had two possessions in Lions territory in the final 2:23 of the game. The first ended when Daniel defensive back C.J. Scott intercepted Tanner Stegall’s pass in the end zone.

The last one began at the Daniel 32, but successive Lions’ penalties gave Pickens the ball at the eight. After Stegall had to run out of bounds at the 11, he threw to Sam Lawson, but he caught the pass out of bounds. With one second left, Stegall threw the pass to Covey that just missed.

“There’s nothing easy this year,” Daniel coach Randy Robinson said. “We’d get something going, then find a way to mess it up.”

Daniel, which trailed 10-7 at half, scored twice in the third quarter on touchdown passes by Ben Batson. He hit Scott for a 10-yard score and Carter Groomes for 55 for a 21-10 advantage after three periods.

The Blue Flame rallied with two quick scores early in the fourth quarter. Covey scored on a two-yard run, but the try for two failed. Then, Jamal Blythe intercepted Batson for the second time, setting up another Covey scoring run. He ran four yards for the touchdown and then caught a pass for a two-point conversion. Pickens led 24-21 with 7:53 to go.

Batson bounced back from the interception to lead the winning touchdown drive. He ran for 12 yards and then broke off a 43-yard run to the Pickens 32. Three plays later, he connected with Groomes for a 21-yard touchdown pass that proved to be the game-winner.

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Daniel escapes with win over Pickens
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