Tide cruises past PRC

Published 12:51 am Sunday, October 24, 2010

Picayune’s powerful tailback tandem of Jamal Hall and Scottie Merrill recently came up with a unique celebratory handshake to greet each other with after either player scores a touchdown.

The Maroon Tide’s dynamic duo had the new gesture down pat by halftime Friday night.

Hall ran for 177 yards and two scores and Merill scored twice as well, all in the first half, as visiting Picayune jumped out to a 34-3 lead at intermission and cruised to a 41-3 win in Region 3-5A play.

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With the win at Hendrix Stadium, the Maroon Tide moves to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in league play, and the Blue Devils drop to 1-8 overal and 0-5 in the region.

“We wanted to come out focused and sharpen up our game,” Merrill, who has scored 13 times this season to go along with Hall’s 18 Touchdowns, said. “We weren’t overlooking them, because we knew they are our rivals and they were going to be ready to play.”

The win sets up a huge game Friday, as unbeaten and second ranked Picayune hosts unbeaten and top ranked West Jones. West Jones beat Wayne County 40-14 Friday.

“What was important to us was to get a win and keep everybody healthy, which we did,” Picayune head coach Dodd Lee said. “This (the west Jones game) is what we have worked for months for. Our season is ahead of us.”

Hall broke loose for a 57 yard run on the first play of the game, setting up Picayune at the PRC 9 and he scored from two yards out three plays later.

Picayune’s Justin Mark then made a key play, when he grabbed a punt that dropped behind the Blue Devil coverage and raced 56 yards for a score.

“That was a big play,” PRC first year head coach Eric Collins said. “The better team won, there’s no doubt about that. They have great speed and some very good athletes, and the size difference was unbeliveable. We couldn’t stop them.”

Hall sprinted 56 yards to paydirt on the first play of the second stanza, and then Merrill added a 51-yard scoring scamper mid-way through the period.

Then just before halftime, he hauled in a 32 yard scoring strike from Ben Hickman to make it 34-3 at intermission, giving him and Hall a chance to celebrate again.

“We like to watch (Alabama’s tailback duo) Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson,” Merrill laughed. “It’s just something we came up with watching them.”

PRC’s only points came on a 41 yard field goal Jovon Detto with 6:29 to play before halftime.

Lee emptied the bench in the second half, and most of his starters never touched the field again.

The only score in the second half came when Picayune’s Doug Cross scored on the opening drive of the third quarter on a 12-yard run.

Pacer Frierson made five of six extra points in his return to Hendrix Stadium.

¬†Picayune’s Ken Brelan had an interception in his own end zone to end a Blue Devil scoring threat. PRC’s Desmond Michel recovered a fumble.

Blue Devil freshman quarterback Dylan Spiers had a 52 yard completion to Trey Wynn, and PRC’s Bryce Spence had a 63 yard kickoff return. Spiers threw for just over 100 yards.

The win was the 12th straight in this series for Picayune.

PRC travels to Wayne County on Friday.