In a battle of team strengths – East Beauregard's running game and Pickering's run defense – the Trojans' ability to control the ball was the difference.
East Beauregard ran for 361 yards as it defeated Pickering 26-0 Friday night at Pickering High School.
"Pickering made it extremely difficult," East Beauregard head coach Gordy Glaser said. "They did a good job of scheming and we had to be really patient. We moved the ball, but they did a good job of buckling down. I really want to commend them, because they had great sportsmanship. It was a matchup of two teams that respect one another and play hard football. It was fun to play Pickering because of the attitude of their players and how the coaches handled every situation. It was a pleasure to play them. It was the most sportsmanship in a game that I've played this year and in a lot of years."
It was a stalemate earlier, but the Trojans got on the board to start the second quarter on a 20-yard run by Brycelyn Murphy to go up 6-0.
Murphy broke off another touchdown run, this one for 35 yards, late in the second quarter to take a 12-0 lead into the locker room.
"They did a good job at scheming us, and we had to make some adjustments," Glaser said. "Even then, they were really strong and never gave up."
Murphy finished with 188 yards on 19 carries and a pair of touchdowns for the Trojans.
East Beauregard (6-2, 2-1) got its other backs involved deep in the red zone as Jackson Lewis pounded in a 1-yard touchdown to put the Trojans up 20-0.
"Defensively, I thought we played pretty well," Pickering head coach Eddie Thomas said. "They got behind those guys and found the ball. The kids fought hard. I thought that we had plays to make on offense, but we just didn't make them. We have to do a better job of connecting offensively."
In the fourth, Lewis broke off a 32-yard run for the game's final score as East Beauregard picked up another district win.
The Pickering (0-8, 0-3) offense ran just 25 plays due to the ground-and-pound offense of East Beauregard controlling the clock.
"We knew East Beauregard was going to be tough," Thomas said. "They grounded it out and kept it away from us quite a bit.
"As a team, they played well. They don't have any one person who stands out, but collectively, they have kids that buy into what they do and control it."
Pickering quarterback DeShawn Jackson was 4-for-10 for 42 yards, and Greg Jones caught two passes for 28 yards.
Trojan running back Devin Perkins added 74 yards on 21 carries, and Lewis picked up 66 yards on eight carries.
"They really did a good job of plowing ahead, and when they got a crease, they took advantage of it," Glaser said. "Brycelyn ran extremely hard, and Devin ran extremely hard. Konner (Seal) and Jackson did a super job. Our line sustained blocks so we could pick up those 3 or 4 yards. We were outweighed by a lot, and the Pickering kids were strong and had a good game plan.”