Blue Flame dominate in all phases against Berea

PICKENS — The threat of Hurricane Florence shook the high school football world last week, leading many Upstate schools to move their Friday night games to Thursday.

The Pickens Blue Flame had a big night planned, with Berea scheduled to visit Bill Isaacs Field for Homecoming and all the festivities that go along with it.

But Florence put a halt to that and forced the decision to be made to play on Thursday and reschedule Homecoming for later in the season.

Despite the disruption of routine, coach Chad Smith’s Big Blue Machine was ready and put a 44-13 hurting on the Bulldogs in front of a sparse crowd.

The victory was as dominating as the score indicated, with Pickens in such control that the coaches on both sides agreed to keep the game clock running without stopping the entire second half.

“It was an odd day and an odd situation, but our kids did what they were supposed to do,” Smith said. “We still have plenty of stuff to work on. I was very happy with our competitive style, and we got the job done.”

Pickens rolled up 461 yards of offense, while the Blue Flame defense clobbered the Berea offense, allowing a measly 56 yards, most of which came on the Bulldogs’ last possession.

The victory was a much-needed one for Smith’s team entering this week’s bye week, making preparation for region play much smoother over the next two weeks.

“If you went into a two-week stretch off a loss, it wouldn’t be nearly as  much fun,” he said. “I hope after this one tonight we will get a little bit of time to rest and get healthy and then prepare for region play, which in South Carolina is basically your season.”

Another big advantage to the lopsided win was a chance to let everyone see some playing time. Pickens substituted freely most of the second half.

“We had a lot of kids play and we had the running clock in the second half,” Smith said. “We handled it well. I am proud of them. It takes some guts to be on a team and not start when you are a junior or senior.

“To be able to get those kids in the game and let them compete was big for us tonight. They executed well. I was proud of them.”

The game started with the Blue Flame taking the opening kick and going right to work. Starting at the 39 after a nice 34-yard return by Andrew Pittman, Pickens rolled over the Bulldogs for a five-play, 61-yard drive that seemed easy. Pickens’ dynamic duo of Jarod Barton and Brady Batson was on display immediately, as the pair picked up 23 yards each on

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