A big second-half performance by Vinton halted Pickering in its first district game of the season.
The Lions outscored the Red Devils 22-6 in the second half to pick up the 42-20 win Friday night at Pickering High School.
"We're still a young program learning how to win games," Pickering head coach Ryan Russo said. "It's more than wins and losses, it's how to handle adversity. I felt like at different times this season, we've handled it well and at other times, we haven't. On defense, from a play-by-play standpoint, I thought we played well. You review the film, and we were right there. They just made plays when it mattered. Give all the compliments to their offense."
Pickering (3-3, 0-1) recorded six turnovers, with three coming off turnover on downs, in the loss.
"If we're between the 40s, we're going for it," Russo said. "Once, we get into positive territory, we're for sure going for it. We're going to be aggressive, and we trust our offense to make plays."
Vinton led 8-0 after the first quarter, but Pickering took the lead in the second quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run by Greg Jones to tie it up at 8.
The Lions retook the lead with a score on the next possession, but Marlon Freeney recorded a touchdown on a short run to even up the score.
Vinton answered back with a 25-yard run to take a 20-14 lead into the break.
"The message at halftime was the same message we went into the game with – just play the next play," Russo said. "We knew their quarterback would make plays and their defense would make big plays. You just have to come back and be ready to go on the next drive."
The Lions scored on three straight possessions – two in the third quarter and one in the fourth – to pull away from the Red Devils.
Evan Fernandez led Pickering with 79 rushing yards on 10 carries, Jones caught six passes for 41 yards.
The Red Devils take on DeQuincy (3-3, 1-0) next week on the road.
"We have to get ready to defend the pass," Russo said. "They are very efficient through the air and can run it, too. They are going to come out and play hard. Our whole district is like that. There isn't an off-week.”