Picayune beats PRC for ninth straight time

Published 1:44 am Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Picayune-Pearl River Central rivalry has been one of streaks.

The Maroon Tide made sure that trend continued Friday night.

Picayune used a balanced offensive attack to hand the visiting Blue Devils a 42-21 decision, marking the Tide’s ninth straight win in the series.

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Pearl River Central won the first five games in the series, from 1991-1995.

But since Dodd Lee came to Picayune for the 1996 season, The Maroon Tide hasn’t lost to their arch-rival.

“It was a good win overall, we did a lot of good things,” Lee said. “We take it game by game in the division, and this was another step.”

The Maroon Tide, ranked fifth in the state in Class 4A and sixth overall i the state in the Clarion-Ledger Super 10 statewide poll, moves to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in Division 8-4A with the win.

The game was the league opener for PRC, which stands 2-3 overall.

“They are just as good as I thought they were,” PRC first year head coach Jeremy Weir said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids that have never played in a game as a big as this, but I was really proud of their effort.”

The Maroon Tide scored twice through the air and four times on the ground, including three rushing touchdowns by junior standout Albert Richard.

Richard ran for 247 yards on 19 carries, including scoring runs of 63, two and seven yards.

“He darts real well in and out of the defense,” Lee added. “He’s hard to catch sometimes.”

That proved correct on the first play from scrimmage of the game, as Richard ripped off a 71-yard run to the PRC nine.

Three plays later, Drew Cole gave Picayune a lead it would never relinquish with a 5-yard scoring run.

Richard was right back at it the next time the Tide touched the ball, sprinting 63-yards for a 14-0 lead.

The underdog Blue Devils were determined to make a game of it, however, and turned to their dynamic running duo of Warren House and Ram Miller to do just that.

After a Picayune fumble at the PRC seven, House took a pitch two plays later sprinted 93-yards for a touchdown.

Richard returned the favor, scoring on a 2-yard run in the second quarter putting Picayune up 21-6.

But Miller, who ran for 222 yards on 18 carries, bolted untouched through the middle of the Tide defense minutes later for a 79-yard touchdown romp. He also added the two point conversion, and PRC trailed just 21-14 with 2:27 to play before halftime.

The home team, though, took control over the next few minutes as the first half gave way to the second.

Picayune immediately after Miller’s score moved quickly and scored on a 6-yard pass from Micah Hickman to Dale Meitzler, making the count 28-14 with 23 seconds to go.

Then, PRC fumbled the kickoff to open the second half, and Picayune’s Chance Griffith recovered it at the PRC 23.

Three plays later, Richard pushed the ball over from seven yards out to put the Tide in control at 35-14.

“Those were both huge plays,” Weir said. “That’s what good teams do, they make big plays.”

Picayune made it 42-14 on a 13-yard touchdown toss from Hickman to Kelvis Bowens later in the third quarter.

Miller made it a bit close, closing out the scoring with a 63-yard scoring run late.

Picayune travels to Pass Christian Friday, while PRC heads to Long Beach