Tide meeting Eagles

Published 5:58 pm Friday, November 14, 2008

By CURTIS ROCKWELL

Item Sports Editor

WAYNESBORO — Picayune needs a win on the road to get another shot at home.

The fifth-ranked Maroon Tide takes on unbeaten and top ranked Wayne County on the road in the Class 4A South State quarterfinals tonight at 7 p.m.

An overflow crowd of around 6,500 is expected.

The winner survives to meet the winner of the West Jones-Brookhaven game next week in the South State semifinals.

And if the Maroon Tide can find a way to get their first ever win over the War Eagles, Picayune would get to host the third round game next week.

“Our main goal right now is to play at least one more game at home,” Picayune senior T’Daryl Grays said. “We seniors have been there and played in that stadium, we know what we have got to do to win.”

In the last meeting between the teams, the War Eagles pulled out an exciting 39-31 win two years ago.

This will be the third time in the past four seasons that Picayune has traveled to War Eagle Stadium in the playoffs.

“I thought we had a good week of preparation,” Picayune veteran head coach Dodd Lee said. “We are as ready as we’ll ever be. We know what we are facing.”

The War Eagles have been the top ranked team in Class 4A in the weekly AP Poll all season. Wayne County is led on offense by quarterback Demarcus Henderson, tailback Tracey “Pound” Lampley and versatile Calvin McDougle who plays several positions including wingback. Lampley has scored 15 touchdowns and ran for 875 yards.

Defensively, the War Eagles are paced by end Willie Daniels and defensive back Jerrell Gandy.

Picayune will counter with sophomore tailback Jamal Hall, who has rushed for just over 1, 200 yards and quarterback Jacob Kennedy who has thrown for almost 1,400 yards and 17 scores.

Grays, who starts at defensive back but also runs the ball, linebacker Reggie Bailey and tackle Jonathan Billups key Picayune’s defensive unit.

Lampley, Daniels and Billups were all name recently to compete in the upcoming Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Football Classic . Wayne County head coach Marcus Boyles will lead the Mississippi team.

“Picayune is always a well coached team and they play hard,” Boyles added. “We will have to be ready to play.”

Lee agreed.

“We can’t afford to relax for 48 minutes,” Lee added. “We know how talented they are and we have to play hard on every play.”

The Maroon Tide senior class is going for its record tying 31st win over a three year span.

“I was a injured a little in the beginning of the season and that slowed me down some,” Grays concluded. “I want to finish strong.”