PICKERING — The Pickering Red Devils had lost two straight games, being completely obliterated in its last outing.

PICKERING — The Pickering Red Devils had lost two straight games, being completely obliterated in its last outing.

The Oakdale Warriors, on the other hand, were on a roll, having won three straight.

Something had to give.

And that something was the Warriors’ winning streak.

The Pickering defense came up with a huge stop late in the game, preserving a 28-26 victory for the Red Devils in front of a raucous homecoming crowd Friday night at O’Banion Stadium on the campus of Pickering High School.

“We needed this one,” Pickering head coach Johnny Cryer said. “Oakdale had been on a roll and we had lost two straight. But the big thing for us is that we bounced back and got this win, a much-needed win.”

With the victory, the Red Devils improved to 5-2 on the season and 1-1 in District 3-2A play heading into a road game against Bunkie next Friday night. Bunkie improved to 1-1 in league action on Friday by upsetting Menard, 14-13.

Oakdale (4-3, 1-1) garnered early control of the game in the first quarter as Mason Jordan connected with Joey Linder on a 6-yard touchdown pass. With the James Welch extra point, the Warriors owned a 7-0 lead.

But early in the second period, the Red Devils managed to find their way into the scoring column on an 17-yard touchdown scamper from sophomore tailback Jermaine Milton. Patrick Hinson connected with Dontay Hargrove on the 2-point conversion pass to allow the Red Devils to move out to an 8-7 lead.

However, right before the end of the first half, the Warriors put together a drive, which was capped by a 3-yard TD run by Quindale Thomas. The pass for two points was no good, however, allowing Oakdale to go into the intermission with a 13-8 cushion.

The lead grew to 11 points about midway through the third quarter when Thomas scored on a 1-yard touchdown plunge, pushing the Warriors out to a 19-8 advantage.

But back came the Red Devils.

Hinson scored on a 1-yard touchdown run of his own and added the 2-point conversion run to bring the Red Devils to within three points, 19-16.

A little later, with about a minute and a half to go in the third quarter, Milton broke loose on a long run, covering 85 yards for the touchdowns. The pass for two points, however, was no good, but the Red Devils were back in front, 22-19.

With about 10 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the Red Devils were able to pick off Jordan and Zach Jeffries returned it 35 yards to inside the Oakdale 10.

Three plays later, Hargrove scored on the end-around from four yards out for a 28-19 lead for Pickering.

But Oakdale was far from done.

Thomas managed to block a Hinson punt, scoop it up at the Pickering 3 and fall into the endzone with about three and a half minutes remaining to trim the deficit to three points. Welch pounded the extra point through the uprights, closing the gap to two points, 28-26.

The Red Devils were unable to do anything on their next possession, but managed to hold Oakdale on a fourth-and-14 play, where the Warriors attempted the hook-and-lateral. The Warriors came up just short and Pickering was able to run out the clock.

“I’m really proud of our defense and how they stepped it up at the end,” Cryer said. “We have got to learn to finish off games, but that’s just our youth showing. We have 18 starters on this team that will play next year as well.”

Milton led the Red Devils with 114 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns, while Hinson accounted for 45 yards rushing and 71 yards passing. Hargrove added 88 combined yards.

Jordan led the Warriors with 218 passing yards, completing 21-of-37 passes with a touchdown and two interceptions. Darion Dunn caught eight passes for 84 yards and Timmy Townley had eight receptions for 69 yards.