Tide nips Patriots

Published 6:11 am Sunday, October 4, 2009


Item Sports Editor

It wouldn’t have been surprising if Joel Davis’ Picayune teammates were instead calling him Johnny Friday night.

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After all, he was on the spot not once, but twice for the Maroon Tide against Forest Hill.

Davis recovered a pair of fumbles from his defensive tackle spot, both of which changed the momentum of the game, as Picayune celebrated Homecoming with a hard fought 14-12 win over the Patriots.

The win moves Picayune to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in Region 5-3A play, while FFHS falls to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in league play.

Davis, a junior who also plays fullback, jumped on one loose ball in the second quarter that led to the eventual winning points and then fell on another fumble late in the game deep in Maroon Tide territory that denied the Patriots a possible chance at pulling out the win.

“We had to make a play when it counted the most,” Davis said. “We’re trying to win and it’s a hard-fought game, and we knew we had to come up with a big play on defense.”

Picayune had taken a 14-0 lead in the first half, before the Patriots came storming back with two touchdowns and seemingly were in position to take the lead late in the game.

But on a second and six play at the Maroon Tide 12, the Patriots lost the handle and Davis fell on the ball to keep Picayune’s lead intact.

“Our defense has gotten better every week I think,” Picayune head coach Dodd lee said. “I thought this was a must game for us and we found a way to win.”

Picayune’s Jamal Hall gave the Maroon Tide a lead they would shakingly never relinquish, as he ran 16-yards for a score with 3:17 left in the first quarter.

The touchdown was set up by a short Patriots punt to midfield, and then Hall rambled 34 yards to the 16 on the previous play before scoring.

The Maroon Tide extended the lead in the second stanza, when, after Davis’ first fumble recovery, quarterback Jacob Kennedy, on a fourth and short from the FHHS 36, ducked into the line on a fake sneak and then sprinted around left end 36 yards for the score.

Dalton O’Meara nailed both extra points, which would turn out to be important later on.

With Picayune seemingly in control, Lee chose to go for it on fourth and short at midfield with just under three minutes to play before halftime. But after gaining the first down, Hall fumbled and the Patriots recovered.

Forest Hill then moved down for its first score, as Isiah James hit Devon Davis on a 30-yard scoring strike with 1:12 left in the period.

The snap on the point after was bad, and the Patriots trailed 14-6.

“I thought we had them where we wanted them,” Lee added. “But we let them back in it with a turnover.”

The Patriots then took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched straight down the field for another score, this time on a 2-yard scoring plunge by Jabari Baker. The Tide defenders, though, stuffed the try for two, and it was 14-12 with 5:56 left to play in the third frame.

After Davis’ second big recovery, Picayune’s Pacer Frierson got off a huge 46 yard punt that pushed the Patriots back to their own 20.

The Picayune defense did the rest, as Troy Egana and Jarrod Jones came up with big sacks of James to seal the win.

“Anybody can win games that are 42-0, but we have to make big plays when the game is on the line,” Davis added. “But we all still have a lot to improve on.”

Hall finished with 137 yards rushing.

The win sets up yet another big league showdown next week, as Picayune travels to Stone High.