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War Eagles whack Tide

Wayne County made it to the Class 5A state championship game last year as the number three seed in Region 3-5A.

After the War Eagles smacked Picayune around Friday night, the Maroon Tide can only hope that history will repeat itself.

Homestanding Wayne County dominated Picayune in every phase of the game, and eventually took an easier than expected 39-17 win over the Maroon Tide.

The win gives the War Eagles the second seed in Region 3-5A, and drops Picayune, which is now 0-5 all time in Waynesboro, to the third spot.

Picayune, now 8-2 overall after two straightlosses, will travel to Vancleave to open the Class 5A state playoffs on Fridy while WCHS, now 9-2, will host Moss Point.

“It looked like we weren’t ready to play,  and I don’t know why,” veteran Picayune head coach Dodd Lee, whose team fell to top-ranked West Jones 44-21 last week. said. “I don’t know if we were flat coming off last week or not. I thought they understood what was at stake tonight, but we just didn’t play well.”

Wayne County jumped out to a quick 13-0 lead and never trailed in the game.

“It always helps when you can get off to a good start against a good team,” WCHS head coach Marcus Boyles said. “We wanted to host in the first round of the playoffs and our kids wanted to have another home game as well.”

Both quarterback Chuck Lacey and running back Dwayne Davis accounted for two scores apiece for the War Eagles, and they both had a hand in staking the home team to the early lead.

Lacey hooked up with Devin Lockhart on a 42-yard scoring strike on Wayne County’s first possession, giving the War Eagles a lead they would never relinquish.

Minutes later, Davis broke free for a 74 yard  scoring scamper that made it 13-0 at the end of the first quarter.”

“We made some mistakes early,” Lee, whose team has given up 83 points in the past two games, said. “You gotta be able to stop people and you gotta make some plays and we aren’t doing either one.”

The Maroon Tide fought back, thanks to a 60 yard touchdown run by Jamal Hall and a 40 yard field goal by Pacer Frierson, to make it 13-10, but Lacey hit Randy Pettus for a 56-yard touchdown toss to make it 19-10 at halftime. The Tide would get no closer.

The teams swapped scoring runs in the third frame, as War Eagle Dric Jones scored from 2-yards out and Picayune’s Scottie Merrill countered with a 32-yard scoring run.

Wayne County used the kicking game to seal the win in the final period, as Rashad Bowman scored on a 21-yard run early in the quarter after a 44-yard punt return by Lockhart and then after the War Eagles blocked a Picayune punt deep in Tide territory Davis wrapped up  the win with a 1-yard scoring plunge.

Hall finished the night with 142 yards rushing and the one score, his lowest output of the season. He did not play in the fourth quarter, but he did crack the magical 2,000 yard mark for the season.

Picayune quarterbacks Ben Hickman and Da’Keith Burton combined to complete just one of 15 passes for 16 yards.

Davis finished with 123 yards rushing and the two scores, and Lacey threw for 179 yards and the pair of touchdowns.

The War Eagles held Picayune below 280 yards of total offense and to their lowest point total of the season.

The Maroon Tide played parts of the game without starters Hall, Joel Davis and Kresean Bowens due to various injuries.

“We are beat up and we aren’t playing very well,” Lee concluded. “We have to figure out a way to get enough people back to play Vancleave.”