DRY CREEK – With time winding down in the fourth quarter, Pickering put itself in a position that it has not been in much in the last couple of years, and the Red Devils capitalized.

A late touchdown gave Pickering a 36-32 win over East Beauregard Thursday night to move the Red Devils to 2-0.

"These kids have worked hard from day one," Pickering head coach Ryan Russo said. "They've taken hard coaching, and we've put them up against adversity so they can overcome it for nights like this. It shows.

"We knew if we tried to play their type of game, we would be in trouble, and we did at times. We really played the first half how we wanted. The second half was more their game. At the end, we found it again."

With 26 seconds remaining and trailing 32-30, Pickering quarterback Braden Lebato rolled out to his right and hit running back Greg Jones in the flat, and Jones ran it in from 7 yards out for the game winner.

Earlier in the fourth, East Beauregard took the lead with with 2:11 left on a 1-yard touchdown by Garrett Cooley, who also added the 2-point conversion.

"With our offense, if we get the ball with five or six minutes left, we are where we want to be at," East Beauregard head coach Ronnie Simmons said. "We just came up a stop short."

Following the Trojan score, Lebato hit Evan Fernandez down the sideline for a 32-yard gain, and the quarterback busted off a big 13-yard run to set up the game-winning touchdown.

"It was moxie," Russo said. "He's got courage and leadership. He's a leader from day one. He shows up and works hard. Not only that, but he makes the fourth down conversion late with his legs. His legs are the secret weapon."

Pickering led 30-16 at the break, but East Beauregard found its groove in the second half, rattling off 16 straight points on touchdowns by Jacob Gimnich and Cooley to take the lead.

"I'm proud of our kids and how they made adjustments in the second half," Simmons said. "We just came up a few plays short.

"We just made some changes on defense. We slowed them down a little bit, and a slow game is our kind of game. They made plays when they had to."

Gimnich led East Beauregard with 121 yards on 16 carries, and Jackson Lewis added 85 yards on 20 touches.

"We're getting better every week," Simmons said. "We just have to put it together for four quarters. There was some good things tonight and things to work on. When we put it together, we have a chance to be a good football team."

Lebato threw for 175 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two scores. As a team, Pickering rushed for 198 yards, including 96 from Jones.

Evan Fernandez led Pickering with 85 receiving yards on a pair of catches.

"The sky is the limit (for our offense)," Russo said. "We have the weapons to really be explosive. We have the trigger man at quarterback. We have it all, but we have to keep coaching them and getting better. Who knows where this offense can go?"