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Tide falls to D’Iberville

By CURTIS ROCKWELL

Item Sports Editor

D’IBERVILLE – Too many turnovers caused a turn over atop Region 8-4A Friday night.

Third ranked Picayune suffered five turnovers against fourth-ranked D’Iberville, and the Warriors smacked the visiting Maroon Tide 49-21 in the process.

The win, before an overflow crowd of almost 5,000 at Warrior Field, allowed D’Iberville to complete a perfect regular season at 10-0 for the first time since 1979. It also avenged a 30-21 loss to Picayune in the league championship game last year.

The Warriors will host Mendenhall in the opening round of the Class 4A South State playoffs Friday.

Picayune, the two-time defending league champion, was denied a third straight crown with the loss and the Tide drops to 8-2 on the season. Picayune will host Forrest Hill in the opening round of the playoffs Friday.

The 49 points were the most Picayune has allowed since Moss Point beat the Tide 55-0 in 1994. It was the worst point differential in a game in Picayune’s 12 years under the guidance of head coach Dodd Lee.

“They out-hit us, they out-played us, they out-coached us and they wanted it more than we did, It’s that simple,” Lee said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that they were better prepared than we were. They were ready to play and we weren’t.”

In addition to the turnovers, Maroon Tide players also dropped at least eight passes.

“Their big play players made more plays than ours did,” Lee added. “We dropped passes and they didn’t, they made the plays.”

The win was the first district championship for D’Iberville in six seasons.

“We executed really well on both sides of the ball. Our kids just played a great game,” Warrior head coach Buddy Singleton said. “We didn’t know how good of a team we were, and I think we found out tonight. We knew we had to come out ready to play against Picayune. Our kids knew that, and they were ready.”

Picayune actually jumped out to a quick lead on a 39-yard scoring scamper by Jamal Hall, but it would be short-lived.

D’Iberville standout Kevin Norwood took the ensuing kickoff and raced 77 yards to paydirt to tie things up and propel the Warriors to the win.

The scoring run put the sophomore tailback Hall, who finished with 103 yards in the game, over the 1,000 yard mark for the season.

Norwood’s return got D’Iberville’s momentum rolling, as the Warriors took a pair of long drives and scored on the Tide defense to go up 21-7 in the second quarter thanks to a pair of scoring runs by Mark Seymour from 15 and 11 yards out.

Seymour roughed up Picayune’s defenders all evening, as he tallied 164 yards on the ground and also eclipsed the 1,000 yard barrier for the season in the process.

The Maroon Tide rallied to make a game of it, though, as Hall hauled in a 27-yard scoring strike from Jacob Kennedy late in the second quarter to make it 21-14 at halftime.

Picayune then stopped the Warriors on D’Iberville’s first two drives of the second half, only to fumble and then throw an interception on its next two possessions.

The Warriors took advantage, as Joe Prine ran for a 12 yard score at the 3:53 mark of the third period after Norwood’s pick off.

D’Iberville dominated the fourth quarter. After another Tide fumble, D’Iberville quarterback Jake Miller kept for a 20-yard score with seven minutes to play and made it 35-14 basically putting the game out of reach.

Kennedy countered with his own scoring run, from 8-yards out, making it 35-21 with three minutes to play. Kennedy also finished with 162 yards passing, completing 12 passes.

The Warriors then added some icing to the victory cake as Miller scored on another run with just over a minute to play and Jarrius Miller returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown to close out the scoring.

“We better find some leaders quick,” Lee said. “Right now we don’t have any.”