Tide falls to WCHS
Published 9:03 am Saturday, November 15, 2008
By CURTIS ROCKWELL
Item Sports Editor
WAYNESBORO – Wayne County continued its string of success against Picayune Friday night. But not before the Maroon Tide threw the biggest scare of the season into the unbeaten War Eagles.
In a battle of Super 10 powers, Picayune turned the ball over on downs at the WCHS five yard line with just over a minute to play, as the second ranked War Eagles hung on for a 27-20 win in the Class 4A South State playoffs.
Wayne County is 12-0, and will renew an old rivalry with West Jones Friday in Soso. Picayune,10th in the Super 10, ends its season at 9-3.
Wayne County is 5-0 all time against Picayune, and has knocked the Maroon Tide out of the state playoffs three out of the last four seasons.
“It seems like everytime we play Picayune it’s this type of game,” victorious WCHS head coach Marcus Boyles, said. “They did everything they could to beat us, but we just made more big play at the end.”
And that one big play came on a fourth down and 10 situation for Picayune at the WCHS 14 with 1:22 to play. Maroon Tide quarterback Jacob Kennedy hit Chris Burton with a nine yard completion to the five, but several War Eagles defenders made sure he would get no closer.
War Eagle quarterback Demarcus Henderson then took a knee three straight times to run the clock out.
The seven point margin of victory was the smallest for Wayne County this season.
“We thought we could win the game, and we had a good chance,” an emotional Picayune head coach Dodd Lee said. “We hung in there when a lot of people thought we didn’t have a chance. We left it all on the field and we gave it everything we had. Our effort was good enough to win the game.”
The teams traded touchdown tosses early, as Wayne County scored on a 9-yard pass to Malik Lofton and Picayune countered with a 19 yard strike from Kennedy to Reggie Bailey.
The War Eagles though, attempted to take control early in the second period as Tracey Lampley took off on a 78-yard scoring scamper and Henderson hooked up with Devante Lanier on a 48-yard touchdown pass all in the first four minutes of the period.
The Maroon Tide fought back, however, and cut the deficit to 20-13 at halftime thanks to a 79-yard scoring strike from Kennedy to Chris Nixon.
Picayune got the ball to open the second half, and quickly marched down the field to tie things up as Nixon scored on a 2-yard run with 7:50 to play.
Both teams had to play the rest of the way without key players, as both WCHS linebacker Willie Daniels and Picayune leading rusher Jamal Hall were ejected from the game on the next series after both were flagged with unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
As the period wound down, Henderson took off on a pair of long runs, one for 42 yards and another from 31 yards, puting the ball at the Tide two.
Lampley then scored what would prove to be the winning points on the next play with 2;56 left in the third quarter, settng up the climatic ending.
Both teams fumbled inside the other teams 30 yard line in the fourth period before the Maroon Tide made one last charge that came up just short.
“We gave up some points, but our defense was the key tonight,” Boyles added. “They did a great job against a good team.”
Lampley finished the game with 156 yards on 16 carries and the two scores.