Tide topples Tomcats

Published 6:07 am Sunday, October 11, 2009


Item Sports Editor

PERKINSTON — Stone High’s uniforms include a nifty variation of the Superman logo on the Tomcats’ helmets.

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It was Picayune’s Jamal Hall, however, that was seemingly wearing the hero’s cape Friday night.

Hall bashed and battered Stone’s defense for 183 yards and two big second half touchdowns, as the visiting Maroon Tide upset fourth ranked Stone in a big Region 3-5A contest 23-14 at A.L. May Stadium on the campus of Gulf Coast Community College.

The win is Picayune’s fourth straight since beginning the season 0-2, and leaves the Maroon Tide in a three way tie for first place in the loop standings at 3-0.

“We have to keep making it a team game and have everyone play together,” Picayune head coach Dodd Lee said. “I’m proud of our kids, it was a great effort. Stone is a very good team and we did what we had to do to win the game.”

And what that winning formula consisted of mostly, especially in the second half, was handing the ball to the standout Hall who also cracked the 1,000 yard barrier just six games into the season.

“The defense was getting stops for us, and my offensive line was playing so well that I just told myself I should be being running the ball well,” Hall, who now has approximately 1,040 yards rushing as well as 12 scores, said. “We wanted to start making some plays offensively in the second half, and we did.”

The Maroon Tide, thanks to three first half turnovers, found itself down 7-3 at halftime in a soggy game that began 40 minutes late because of wet weather.

Picayune’s Pacer Frierson had a 42 yard field goal in the second quarter and Stone scored on a 16-yard touchdown run by Deon Arrington in the same period.

The Maroon Tide then committed its fourth turnover of the contest three plays into the third frame, but the Maroon Tide defense came up big again and turned the Tomcats away.

“Our defense was solid, and helped keep us in the game,” Lee added.

Hall would put Picayune ahead for good just minutes after the Maroon Tide defensive stop, as he tallied a 4-yard scoring plunge.

The talented junior set up the score by rambling to the Tomcat 11 on a 58-yard dash just two plays earlier and then carrying for seven yards on the next play to the Stone four.

Dalton O’Meara’s extra point made the count 10-7 with 4:51 left in the third quarter.

Picayune’s defense came up big once again, as Derronte Magee hauled in an interception on the ensuing Stone possession and returned it 10 yards to the Tomcat 25.

Hall would again help Picayune cash in as he scored on a 1-yard run with just over nine minutes to play putting Picayune up 16-7.

Stone would cut the deficit to 16-14 with four minutes to play on a long scoring pass from Clint Hatten to Charonda Magee, but the Maroon Tide would answer again.

Needing to keep the ball away from Stone to seal the win, Hall and his teammates took over at their own 36 and drove for a final score to secure the win as quarterback Jacob Kennedy scored on a 9-yard run.

The score was set up by Hall, as on the previous play, a fourth and inches situation from the Tomcat 41, he rolled 32 yards to the nine and secured the win.

“We just knew we had to get the first down,” Hall, who carried the ball 32 times in the win, added. “That’s what we talked about in the huddle. We had to all work together and make the big play.”

Kennedy completed some key passes as well that helped loosen the Tomcats defense up and kept them from totally keying on Hall. He finished the game 7-of-14 for 100 yards.

On defense, Picayune’s Jarrod Jones also came up with a big interception and recovered a fumble while Maurice Jones also recovered a fumble.

“We’ve still got some things to clean up, we had too many turnovers,” Lee concluded. “But I think we have a pretty good team as long as we keep getting better.”