ROSEPINE – Heading into Friday's game, Rosepine was still waiting to put together a complete game and limit mistakes.
Although it was not perfect, the Eagles defense played its best game of the season to pick up a 36-8 win against East Beauregard at McKee-McCain Stadium.
"It feels great," Ducote said. "The kids came out and were really focused. We had a couple of turnovers early that we have to clean up, but overall, I'm pleased."
The loss drops the Trojans to 0-3 on the year, and head coach Ronnie Simmons says him and his guys are heading back to film room to fix the things they can.
"The biggest thing is that they beat us upfront," he said. "They are a very good team. If we're not winning up front, we're not having a good time.
"A lot of it had to do with them, but we had some breakdowns on early plays. Our offensive is not built for second-and-longs or third-and-longs. They did a good job of putting us in positions that we didn't want to be in."
Rosepine allowed just 119 rushing yards against the run-heavy offense of East Beauregard, including 12 plays of negative or no yardage.
"We just told them to stay aggressive and keep low," Ducote said. "I knew if we could get them in second- and third-and-long situations, we would have the advantage. That's hard to do against that offense. The run that well, and they are good at what they do. The defense just executed it to the 't'."
Rosepine got on the board first with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Ethan Frey to Josh Cummings, and after the two-point conversion, the Eagles led 8-0.
After an East Beauregard fumble, Rosepine capitalized with a 7-yard touchdown run by Grant Ducote to extend the lead to 16-0.
With 5:39 to play in the first half, East Beauregard quarterback Noah Gill hit Jacob Gimnich for a 32-yard touchdown.
"We have confidence in our passing game," Simmons said. "Late in the game, our protection broke down a little bit. We work on it everyday, and when we need to, we can throw the ball."
Grant Ducote scored his second touchdown of the day on Rosepine's first play of the second half with a 61-yard touchdown run to go up 22-8.
With 4:18 to play in the third, Frey threw a quick pass out to Cole Danahue who took it 64 yards to the house.
Frey threw for 191 yards on 7-for-11 passing and a pair of scores in just his third game as the starting quarterback.
"He didn't have a good game last week, but today, he was money," Brad Ducote said. "He hit the receivers in stride and opened up the running game for us. Sometimes, we're going to have to do that."
Rosepine running back Braden Nolen scored the last touchdown of the game with 11:18 to play on a 10-yard run to put the Eagles up 36-8.
"South Beauregard embarrassed our boys (last week), and I called them out this week," Ducote said. "They stepped up to the challenge. They said that we are not going to be outphysicaled this week, like we were last week. They did great things."
Gimnich led East Beauregard with 75 yards on 19 carries, and Jackson Lewis ran nine times for 29 yards.
"We have four or five guys that can run it," Simmons said. "Depending on who has the hot hand is who we are going to go with."
Grant Ducote racked up 158 yards on 10 carries, and Nolen added 84 yards on 14 touches.
"They just stayed with the process," Ducote said. "It's good to have two of them. We don't have a Seth Shirley we can give it to 35 times, but we can split it between them two guys to keep them fresh. To me, that's an advantage for us."
East Beauregard kicks off its district season next week at Elton.
"We just have to figure out what to do to get better," Simmons said. "Rosepine is a good football team. I can't take anything away from them. They played better than us tonight, and we play a tough schedule to get ready for district. It's now that time."