Moss Point mauls Maroon Tide 28-14

Published 11:54 pm Saturday, September 1, 2007

The trend in the annual Picayune-Moss Point football series continued on Friday night.

For the fourth straight season, the visiting team won in the affair as the Tigers came to Picayune Stadium and knocked off the fourth ranked Maroon Tide 28-14 in the season opener for both teams.

Visiting Moss Point jumped out to a commanding 21-0 lead just 16 minutes into the contest, and Picayune could never fully recover.

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“They took it to us, you have to give them credit for that,” Picayune head coach Dodd Lee said. “They came in well prepared and ready to play and they made some big plays and we didn’t.”

It was actually the fifth time in the past six games that the visiting team won in this series.

“We got some breaks and were able to take a good lead,” veteran MPHS head coach Jerry Alexander, who has won four state championships at the helm of the Tigers, said. “I thought overall we played pretty well for the first game.”

One of the big plays for Moss Point came early, when the Tigers blocked a Picayune punt deep in Maroon Tide territory and recovered at the Picayune five yard line.

Moments later, Moss Point quarterback Marchand Hall hooked up with receiver Kevin Barkley on the first of their three touchdown passes on the night.

The 10-yard scoring strike gave the Tigers a lead they would never relinquish.

“We got some good pass plays that helped us,” Alexander added.

The Hall to Barkley combo would extend the lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter, when they hooked up on a 57yard scoring pass.

“They executed better than we did,” Lee added.

The Tigers went up 21-0 minutes later when Meco Brown wound his way through just about the entire Maroon Tide defense for a nifty 34 yard touchdown run.

Picayune tried to fight back, showing some life on offense for the first time in the game late in the second quarter as Albert Richard capped a quick 64 yard scoring drive with a 16 yard scoring run.The drive was set up by Picayune safety Jacob Riser, who picked off a Hall pass at midfield.

The Tiger moved inside the Picayune one just before halftime, but a field goal attempt was foiled by the Maroon Tide and Moss Point went to the locker room with a 21-7 lead dat intermission.

Picayune made a game out of it as the Tide took the second half kickoff and moved 70 yards in 13 plays in a near perfect scoring drive, and Richard capped the march off with a 1-yard plunge to cut the deficit to 21-14 after Matt Dragon’s second point after kick.

But Moss Point responded with a scoring drive of their own after a short Picayune kickoff to secure the win.

“We needed a three and out right there to get the ball back and we didn’t get it,” Lee said. “I thought after we scored to cut it to 21-14 we could win the game, but they made the plays on that drive that they needed to make.”

The result of the drive was another scoring pass from Hall to Barkley, this time from three yards out, with one minute left in the third period.

“That drive was the turning point, no doubt about it,” Alexander added. “They had kind of got some of the momentum back, but I was proud of the way we answered.”

Richard was pounded by the stout Tiger defense all night, but managed to pick up 135 yards on 26 carries and the two touchdowns. Hall threw for 113 yards for Moss Point, with the athletic 6-foot-3 Barkley his main target.

Picayune travels to Madison Central Friday.