Tide rolls in playoff opener
By CURTIS ROCKWELL
Item Sports Editor
Picayune continued its recent run of success in the first round of the state playoffs on Friday.
The Maroon Tide dispatched visiting Forest Hill of Jackson 40-12 in the opening round of the Class 4A South State playoffs. The win not only moved the fifth ranked Maroon Tide to 9-2 on the season, but it earned head coach Dodd Lee’s team a trip to the quarterfinals and a date on the road against Wayne County Friday.
It was the seventh straight opening round playoff win for Lee and his Tide team.
“It’s a team game, as simple as that seems,” Lee, whose team bounced back from a 49-21 loss to D’Iberville last week, said. “When you play together good things usually happen. That’s what it was tonight.”
Jamal Hall ran for 108 yards and two scores to pace Picayune in the first ever meeting between the two teams.
The Maroon Tide was just minutes from a shutout, as the Rebels were held scoreless until five minutes remained in the game.
“We wanted to come out and establish ourselves and show that we were better than last week,” Maroon Tide defensive back Wayne McMooain, said. McMooain also came up with a big reception on offense as well.
“We wanted to make a staement and capitalize on whatever mistakes they made. This is the playoffs and we knew we had to play hard every play.”
Picayune’s Chris Nixon got the Tide rolling as he cut loose for a 17-yard scoring run on the Tide’s second possession of the game.
The score was set up when Picayune quarterback Jacob Kennedy hit Jonathan Moore for 17 yards on a fourth and six play at the Forest Hill 24.
Maroon Tide linebacker Reggie Bailey then picked off a pass early in the second quarter, and Picayune took advantage of the turnover as Jarrod Jones scored three minutes later on a 4-yard plunge to make it 13-0.
Kennedy then hooked up with McMooain on a 62 yard pitch and catch on the Tide’s next possession, putting the ball at the Rebel 20. Two plays later, Kennedy hit T’Daryl Grays on a 10-yard touchdown toss to make it 20-0 at halftime.
“We did some good things on both sides of the ball at times,” Lee added. “We took advantage of some things we saw on defense and got out to a good lead.”
The Maroon Tide kept rolling as the second half unfolded as Hall scored on a 2-yard run to make it 26-0 at the 8:46 mark of the third frame..
Hall, who now has almost 1,200 yards rushing on the year, later added a 4-yard touchdown run.
The Rebels got on the scoreboard on a 34-yard scoring pass from Isiah James to Dylan Davis and then added another touchdown in the final minutes.
Picayune’s Robert Jeansonne also scored when he picked up an on-sides kick and scooted 48 yards for a touchdown.
Kennedy finished with 116 yards passing and the score. His 19 scoring passes this season are the most for a Lee coached team at Picayune.
The Maroon Tide now face the top-ranked 4A team in the state on the road in the playoffs for the third time in the past four seasons.
“We figured we were going to have to play them at some point,” Lee concluded. “I guess that’s now.”