Tide facing familiar foe

Published 5:08 am Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Item Sports Editor

For the past four seasons, Picayune has hosted unfamiliar foes to open the state football playoffs.

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That won’t be the case this week.

The Maroon Tide takes on visiting D’Iberville Friday, in the opening round of the Class 5A South State playoffs.

Picayune is 7-3 on the season, and finished second in Region 3-5A while the Warriors finished third in Region 4-5A and ended the regular season at 5-6 overall but 5-2 in league play. D’Iberville, the defending Class 4A South State champions, beat St. Martin 24-0 Friday to clinch the third spot.

This will be the third straight season that the Maroon Tide and the Warriors have faced one another. For the past two seasons, before reclassification, the squads were in the same Division 8-4A league.

Two years ago, the last time the teams met in Maroon Tide Stadium, Picayune won 30-21 to end the regular season and capture the league title. Last season, in D’Iberville, the Warriors spanked Picayune 49-21 in another showdown for the league crown.

Last year’s defeat was the worst loss in Picayune head coach Dodd Lee’s time at the helm of the Maroon Tide.

The past two seasons, Picayune has opened the state playoffs against Gautier in 2007 and Forest Hill of Jackson in 2008. Those games marked the first time ever that the Maroon Tide had faced those squads on the gridiron. Picayune won both of those contests. The Maroon Tide is hosting an opening round state playoff game for the fifth straight season and seventh time in eight seasons.

Picayune has won all of those opening round games at home. In addition, the Tide’s opening round playoff game in 2006 against West Jones marked the first time in 23 years that those teams had faced one another. And, when Picayune met Brookhaven to open the 2005 playoffs it was the first time in a decade that those teams met.

The last time Picayune and D’Iberville met in the playoffs was in 2001, when the Warriors came to Picayune and won 34-31 in the Class 4A South State semifinals in overtime.