ROSEPINE – Coming into Friday night’s game, the Rosepine defense had been holding opponents to 12 points per game, but it received its biggest test of the year against DeQuincy.
However, the offense for the Eagles was clicking, as they defeated the Lions 54-32 to claim at least a share of the district title.
"What a hard-fought game," Rosepine head coach Brad Ducote said. "We knew DeQuincy would give us fits. Offensively, they have several athletes, and they got into space.
"I just can't say enough about our kids. They were resilient and kept fighting. They kept putting numbers on the board and kept us ahead. The defense held when it needed to."
Rosepine (9-0, 4-0) was led on the ground by running back Seth Shirley, who ran for 228 yards on 43 carries and five total touchdowns.
"He was grinding," Ducote said. "He's just a grinder. He ran so hard and made several cuts. He wore them out late and made that last big score. I can't say enough about him. I told him that he would have to have that kind of game for us to win, and he did."
The Eagles jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the second quarter, but DeQuincy tied it up with 1:24 left in the half with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Gunner Gearen to Cooper Hext.
"We schemed them up pretty well, but they did a great job blocking," Ducote said. "They did a great job blocking on the outside, and we weren't able to get off a few blocks. It gave them a few big plays. A few times, we gave the quarterback extra time, and he burned us deep downfield. Overall, I'll take it."
Rosepine drove down the field on the ensuing drive, and quarterback Seth Ducote hit Shirley for a 6-yard touchdown to take a 24-16 lead into halftime.
"Just like when playoffs are going to come, this kind of pressure is going to be on us, too," Seth Ducote said. "We just have to execute the offensive game plan like it is on the script and how Coach Ducote writes."
The Eagles extended the lead to 32-16 on a 4-yard run by Ducote on the opening drive of the third quarter.
Ducote finished the game 7-for-9 for 130 yards and ran 10 times for 99 yards.
DeQuincy scored quickly to make it 32-24, but Shirley scored another touchdown late in the third and two more in the fourth quarter to seal the win for Rosepine.
"It felt great," Shirley said. "It made me want to run it even more.
"(DeQuincy) came out with a lot of heart and never stopped. They didn't quit and kept fighting."
Gearen was 13-for-25 for 261 yards, and Braylon Snell caught six passes for 158 yards for DeQuincy.
The Eagles will take on East Beauregard next week for a chance to win the district title outright, but if the Trojans win, the two teams with split the crown.
"It's going to be an all-out war," Ducote said. "We're similar in some ways and different in a lot of ways. They're going to be physical, and we're going to be physical. Coach (Gordy) Glaser does a great job with them. I'm just anticipating the challenge ahead.
"I want it for these kids. I want them to go 10-0 and be outright district champions. I want it for them, and they want it bad, too."