Picayune double-crossed visiting
Playing for the third straight game in Region 4-5A action without standout tailback Preston Dedeaux, the top-ranked Maroon Tide turned to brothers Doug and Kardarrius Cross to lead them past the Tigers, 41-26.
Doug, who also starts at defensive end, ran for 216 yards and three touchdowns and Kardarrius, who also starts at cornerback, added two scoring runs as Picayune moved to 7-0 on the year and took sole possession of first place in the league at 4-0.
The win was the 14th straight for the defending Class 5A state champion Maroon Tide, since a 35-29 loss last year at Moss Point.
“Mos Point has a very good team, they have some great skill people on offense and they gave us some trouble at times,” veteran Picayune head coach Dodd Lee said. “We found a wrinkle or two in their scheme on defense that we were able to take advantage of in the second half.”
The Tigers fall to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in region play.
“They are the number one team in the state for a reason,” Moss Point head coach Kevin Jackson said. “We made too many mental mistakes to have a chance to win the game.”
Picayune led 14-0 at halftime, thanks to a 5-yard scoring run by each one of the Cross brothers in the first half.
But the Tigers rallied, and tied the game at 14-14 in the third quarter, thanks to an 85-yard scoring scamper by Thomas Nettles and a 5-yard scoring strike from Anthony Mitchell to Nettles.
The tie lasted 37 seconds.
The Maroon Tide responded with a two play, 56 yard scoring drive that ended in a 19-yard scoring run by Kardarrius Cross.
“We just knew we needed to be more physical and go back out and establish ourselves again,” Doug Cross said. “I knew that I had to step up in the past few weeks with Preston out. We are all working as a team together.”
That score would begin a stretch in which Picayune scored three touchdowns in less than seven minutes to put the game away.
Desmond Taylor added a 35-yard scoring run on the Tide’s next drive, and then Doug Cross broke loose on a 66-yard touchdown jaunt just minutes later to put Picayune up 34-14 with 7:42 to play.
“The backs are running hard and doing a good job for us,” Lee added. “And the offensive line is always the key.”
Keyshun Wells added a five yard scoring run for Moss Point and Doug Cross added a four yard touchdown run for Picayune in the waning moments.
Mitchell threw for 177 yards, completing 12-of-21 passes, for Moss Point.
Moss Point hosts Pearl River Central Friday in a battle for second place in the region, while Picayune travels to East Central on the same night.
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