By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Associated Press
Picayune got off to a good start in Region 4-5A play last week with a big 52-7 home win over Gautier.
This week, the eighth-ranked Maroon Tide hopes to keep that momentum going on the road.
Picayune travels to Long Beach to face off with the win-less Bearcats. Kickoff in Lance Lumpkin Stadium is set for 7 p.m.
The Bearcats are 0-5 overall and 0-1 in league play. George County beat Long Beach 43-0 Friday in the district opener for both teams.
Brandon Walley scored on a 15-yard reception from Blake Fields for the Rebels' first win this season. It was the first win of the season for the Rebels.
"We have to worrie about us getting better each week, and not about who we are playing," veteran Picayune head coach Dodd Lee said. "If we just concentrate on improving what we do each week then we will get better, and that's our goal."
The Bearcats have a new head coach this season in Bo Vonderbrugge. He replaced Tommy Browder as the interim head coach last season, just before Picayune beat Long Beach 84-0. The Maroon Tide led 70-0 at halftime in that game.
Picayune is expected to have standout senior tailback Preston Dedeaux back this week. Dedeaux ran for over 200 yards and one touchdown in the first half alone in the win over Gautier, but was held out the second half after getting shaken up late in the second quarter,
Dedeaux has rushed for almost 800 yards in four games for Picayune, which stands 3-1 overall and 1-0 in region play. He is averaging almost 200 yards rushing per game, thanks in large part to the offensive line that consists of center Chase Roberson, guards Devin Spears and Ethan Frierson as well as tackles De Marcus Harralson and Connor Bryan.
Picayune rolled up almost 600 yards of total offense against the Gators.
The Maroon Tide defense has been solid the past three games as well. In the secondary, cornerbacks Kardarius Cross and Deandre Anderson each picked doff passes last week, and safety Gerrell Keeton is the leading tackler for the Maroon Tide. Jordan Dedeaux has also been a steady force in the secondary.
Linebacker Sam Hickman led the charge for that unit last week for Picayune, and Daveon Greene had an interception from that unit as well. Up front, tackles Keith Gaston and Hunter Smith each provided steady pressure on the Gators backfield all night long.