Picayune, Poplarville meet

Published 4:50 pm Friday, October 20, 2006

Picayune can capture the Division 8-4A championship with a win at home tonight over visiting Poplarville in a huge Pearl River County showdown.

A win by the Hornets wouldn’t give Poplarville the league crown just yet, but it would put head coach Lance Mancuso’s squad on the verge of its first ever title.

The game, one of the biggest on the gridiron in quite some time between a pair of Pearl River County teams, is the regular season finale for the Maroon Tide while Poplarville still has to travel to St. Stanislaus to wrap up the regular season next week.

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Both Picayune and Poplarville have already clinched Class 4A playoff berths, and the Maroon Tide will host a first round playoff game two weeks from tonight.

Picayune starting quarterback Micah Hickman was injured Friday, and his status for Friday is still unknown.

If he is unable to play, the Maroon Tide is expected to turn to sophomore back-up Jacob Riser, who finished the game last week against Bay High after Hickman was hurt his knee.

The blow was the second straight for the Hickman family, as Micah’s younger brother Caleb was lost for the season the week before with a knee injury. Caleb was a starting receiver and also the back up quarterback.

Picayune is paced on offense by standout junior running back Albert Richard, who leads the league in scoring with 22 touchdowns in just eight games.

Poplarville counters with quarterback Matt Williams, who leads the division with seven touchdown passes and running back Ike Bowden who has scored 10 touchdowns on the season as well.

The Tide defense is paced by linebacker Levi Slaydon and lineman Steven Kellar, while the Hornets counter with end Tyler Breland and safety Joel Bilbo.

Game time is set for 7:30 at Picayune Stadium.