Devildogs Travel To Easley After Upset Loss To Pickens
Travelers Rest's Devildogs will invade Easley on Friday night after a gallant fourth quarter rally fell short against Pickens last week. Easley was idle last week while the Devildogs lost 38-34 against the Blue Flame. The game against Easley marks the conclusion of the Region 1 AAAA regular season and everybody wants a victory as the top four teams in the region advance to the state playoffs. Region 1 teams will square off against Region 2 foes in the first round games.
Westside holds first place in Region 1 AAAA with a 3-0 region record. Easley is one game back in second place with a 2-1 mark while Pickens and Travelers Rest are tied in third place with 1-2 league records. Walhalla has completed the region season and sits in fifth place with a 1-3 region record. Westside will travel to Pickens on Friday and the Rams can lock up the region title with a win over the Blue Flames. A Ram loss and an Easley win over TR would mean little due to the fact that Westside defeated Easley 58-20 on October 1st. A TR win combined with a Pickens loss would push the Devildogs to a second place finish and a home game in the first round. Currently, Greenwood holds first place in Region 2 with Greenville in second place while Laurens and Greer are battling for third and Eastside secures the basement. If Travelers Rest finishes fourth in Region 2 the Devildogs would face Greenwood in the first round.
Travelers Rest never led last week's game against Pickens. The Blue Flame was led by workhorse Andon Rogers who scored four touchdowns against TR defenders. Rogers gave Pickens a 7-0 lead off of a four yard run with 8:32 left in the first quarter. Pickens made it a 14-0 game one minute later off of a 41 yard pass interception romp. TR closed that gap to 14-7 when A.J. Rains scored on a nine yard jaunt.
The second quarter was a defensive battle until the 8:43 mark when Rogers scored on a three yard run for a 21-7 advantage. TR answered with two touchdowns by Deon Johnson (10 yard run) and Baker (24 yard pass from Caleb Mills) to tie the game at 21-21 at the half.
Pickens scored again with 3:06 left to play in the third off of a 2 yard Rogers run and the Blue Flame led 28-21. Rogers added another touchdown with 8:56 left in the fourth stanza to make it a 35-21 thrashing.
The Devildogs rallied and closed the gap off of a McKibben 13 yard pass reception from Mills to close the gap to 35-28 with 2:08 left in the game. Pickens padded its lead with a 23 yard field goal by Smith to take a ten point 38-28 game. TR refused to quit and added a touchdown by Jacari Hellams' 17 yard pass reception from Mills to slice the gap to 38-34. TR attempted an onsides kick but Pickens recovered. The TR defense held Pickens in check and took control of the football with less than a minute left on the clock but the miracle never dented the scoreboard and the Devildogs lost.
POST GAME STATS: First Downs Pickens 23 TR 18; Total Offense: Pickens 389 TR 356; Rushing: Pickens 74 attempts for 389 yards TR 19 attempts for 116 yards; Passing: Pickens 1 attempt 0 completions 0 interceptions TR 27 attempts 13 completions and 2 interceptions; Fumbles: Pickens 1 and lost 1 TR 1 fumble and 1 recovery; Penalties: Pickens 8 for 79 yards TR 9 for 93 yards. INDIVIDUALS: Pickens - Rushing, Rogers 28 carries for 183 yards, McCollum 26 carried for 133; Ford 18 for 48. Passing - 0-1-0. Travelers Rest - Rains 7 carries for 49 yards, Mills 5 for 17, Johnson 7 for 30. Passing - Mills 13-26-2. Receiving - Hellams 6 for 113 yards, Johnson 3 for 53 yards, Baker 2 for 30.
Friday night's game between Westside and Pickens will be played at Bruce Field due to groundwater issues at Issacs Field.
Overall, nobody in Region 1 is playing above .500 football. Westside, Easley and Travelers Rest have 4-4 overall records while Pickens is 3-5 and Walhalla is 2-4 overall.
TR will have to contend with Easley's high scoring offense. The Greenwave, after losing on October 1st to Westside 58-20, has defeated Walhalla 53-32, and Pickens 42-14. Easley was idle last week.