The Bears led 17-0 at halftime, then added two touchdowns in the third quarter. Special teams failed the Blue Flame as one touchdown came from a punt return, and a second one was set up by another punt return inside the 10-yard line.
Pickens falls to 3-4 for the season with their fourth straight loss. The Blue Flame are 0-2 in Western AAA play, with a five-game losing streak in region play that goes back to last year’s 35-14 loss at Belton-Honea Path.
Pickens playoff hopes are fading, but not extinct. Pickens travels to West-Oak to face the 4-3 Warriors. West-Oak is 1-1 in conference play, coming off a 30-6 win over Woodmont last Friday. Pickens hosts Woodmont next Friday.
Wins over Woodmont and West-Oak would keep Pickens in contention for fourth-place in Western AAA, and in contention for a playoff spot. A loss in either game could lead the Blue Flame depending on an upset at home over defending conference champions Daniel, who defeated Seneca 49-0 Friday night.
This marks the second straight season the Blue Flame have started strong, then fell into a losing streak. Last year’s team opened 6-0, but lost the final four games, missing the playoffs.
The Blue Flame opened strong this season, with wins over Walhalla, Liberty and Easley. More impressive then the wins was the fact that the Blue Flame offense averaged more than 50 points per game.
Following losses to Travelers Rest and Berea in non-conference play, Pickens has fell to Seneca and Belton-Honea Path in Western AAA play, scoring only 3 points in eight quarters.