As one of the top seeds in Class 2A, Rosepine is going to get every team's best shot in the postseason, and Port Allen gave the No. 4 Eagles all they could handle.
Rosepine had to pull out some tricks late, but the Eagles escaped with a 20-14 win Friday night at home.
"Going off the three films we had, we knew they were fast and big, but we didn't know how physical they were," Rosepine head coach Brad Ducote said. "It didn't take long for us to figure that out. They gave us fits all night long.
"It was an eye-opener for all of us. We had to make some adjustments on the fly, and after the first quarter, every time we had something going, we would get a holding call or something silly. It was like we could never get into a rhythm after the first quarter.
Trailed 14-12 with 2:15 left on the clock Kaleb Clause hit quarterback Seth Ducote for a 28-yard touchdown on a jet reverse pass to give the Eagles its first lead since the second quarter.
"We have been practicing it for about four weeks," Ducote said. "We've ran it about eight times a week for four weeks. We were hoping we would never need it, but we needed it."
The defense held on in the final two minutes, and the Eagles will move on to round two with some work to do.
"They played the best game they played all year," Ducote said about the defense. "They kept us in the ballgame, because we had bad field position in the second, third and most of the fourth quarter. That had a lot to do with everything, as well. We would have to punt or have a turnover on downs, and they would have the ball at midfield."
No. 29 Port Allen held the potent rushing attack of Rosepine in check, allowing just 195 rushing yards on 52 attempts.
Eagle running back Seth Shirley got his team on the board early with a 5-yard touchdown run at the 10:19 mark in the first quarter.
Seth Ducote put the Eagles up 12-0 with a 1-yard quarterback run early in the second quarter, but the Pelicans scored on a short run with 3:32 left in the first half to get back into the game.
With a minute left on the clock, Port Allen quarterback Jeremiah Dehon hit Lekelvin Battiste for a 52-yard pass to take a 14-12 lead at the break.
"At halftime, I went in there and said 'You just got hit in the mouth. They came here ready to play.'" Ducote said. "I basically just challenged them to fight back or you'll be done."
Shirley led Rosepine with 90 yards on 22 carries, and Ducote added 70 yards on 22 carries and 79 passing yards.
"They kind of loaded the box, and they matched us, physically," Ducote said. "It made running tough. Seth Ducote isn't 100 percent so we had a hard time getting the edge. When he got the edge, he couldn't find that other gear. He did what he could do and fought through it."
The Eagles will take on a familiar foe in round two, facing off with district rival DeQuincy.
"We have to keep getting better in our secondary," Ducote said. "They are going to challenge our secondary. They played well last night, and they are going to need to have a similar performance to give us a chance to win on Friday."