As one the centerpieces for the offense, Rosepine running back Seth Shirley has ran the ball a lot this season, and the Eagles leaned on the junior running back once again.
Shirley racked up 306 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries as Rosepine defeated Pickering 34-7.
"Seth is a warrior. He fumbled one but he makes things happen," Rosepine head coach Johnny Cryer said. "He's had 30-plus carries the last few games."
Not only was it homecoming for Pickering, but it was also a homecoming Cryer, who spent four years with the Red Devils before taking over Rosepine this year.
"We won 32 games in four years here. I have some great memories here," Cryer said. "We've had some great football teams here. My stomach was in knots all day. I was dreading this game because I have some ties here. It's tough when you come play a fine school like Pickering. They have a great coaches and a great administration. I just love them all to death. It's tough, but it's part of the game."
The Pickering (0-7, 0-3) defense kept it interesting in the first half, routinely getting the Eagles behind the sticks on first and second down.
"The kids were aggressive and they played hard," Pickering coach Eddie Thomas said. "They did their assignments, for the most part. We played sound for a half. In the second half, we lost a little bit of focus."
After a scoreless first quarter, Shirley got the Eagles (6-1, 3-0) on the board in the second quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 6-0.
The Eagles committed three turnovers in the first half – an interception and two fumbles.
"I told them not to panic," Cryer said. "We had three costly turnovers. We were pounding them pretty good and had two turnovers as we were driving. We have to clean that up. The last three games, we had one turnover and we had three tonight. I can't say enough about the kids. We came out of the half and didn't panic. We hit a big pass play and rolled."
On Rosepine's first drive of the second half, quarterback Seth Ducote hit Dylan Callaway on a seam up in the middle for a 51-yard touchdown.
Shirley ripped off a 46-yard touchdown on the next drive to make it 21-0 with 4 minutes, 50 seconds left in the third quarter and added another touchdown to open up the fourth quarter.
"They have a good defensive line, and we were trying to run away from them," Cryer said. "Big plays are not part of our offense, and tonight, we had quite a few big plays. We are usually ground-and-pound with long drives.
"These coaches here know me well and they did a good job of scheming us up."
At the 7:34 mark in the fourth quarter, John Gregory got Pickering on the board with a 4-yard run, set up by a big kick return from Emanuel Mosley. Mosley also had a fumble recovery and an interception in the game.
"Emanuel is a warrior," Thomas said. "He plays hard. He's a little underweight but he works hard. He's been at corner all year and people have been picking on him. But he's worked and gotten better at his craft. He's a hard-working kid."
With just over two minutes to go, Dalton McCallon punched in a 4-yard touchdown for the game's final score.
McCallon had 15 carries for 45 yards to go along with the score, and Ducote carried the ball four times for 29 yards.
Gregory led Pickering with 34 yards on 10 carries, and quarterback Braden LaBato was 4-for-8 for 19 yards.