Maroon Tide rolls over Pascagoula Panthers
By Dart Spiers
Coach Dodd Lee and the Maroon Tide defeated the Pascagoula Panthers 24-10 to earn their sixth win of the season and remain undefeated. When asked how he would describe the Tide’s winning formula, Lee stressed one word in particular.
“Heart, heart and more heart,” Lee said, “We’ve got a lot of kids with a lot of heart that know how to win.”
Despite some key injuries, the Tide controlled the ball and the line of scrimmage to wear down a spirited Pascagoula defense. Senior running back Kardarius Cross did not play much in the second half due to an apparent injury, and Picayune was without their first and second string punters as well.
Pascagoula took advantage and blocked a punt in the first quarter, leading to a first and goal for the Panthers from the Picayune 5 yard line. Two plays later Pascagoula running back Reginald Hunter scored to take a 7-3 lead with 58 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The Picayune offense was held to a 39-yard Jackson Samples field goal on their first drive, but would not have to kick another for the rest of the game. The Tide offense responded to the deficit with a methodical scoring drive that ended on a 30-yard touchdown run from Josh Littles with 10:23 remaining in the second quarter. On their next possession, Cross exploded for a 32-yard gain and set up a 9-yard touchdown run from Gerrell Keaton with 3:59 remaining in the half to make the score 17-7.
Pascagoula gave the ball to Hunter on seven consecutive plays during the following drive, earning 47 yards and setting up kicker Griffin Sublett for a short field goal as the half expired to make the score 17-10. Hunter’s earlier touchdown proved to be the only time the Panthers found the end zone. The Picayune defense dominated, forcing three turnovers and shutting Pascagoula out the second half.
Keaton put the game out of reach with 7:42 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, scoring his second touchdown on a 5-yard carry to make the score 24-10. Xavier Haralson, Vyron Brown and the other Picayune backs showed the Tide’s depth and ran well all night after Cross went down with an injury.
Pascagoula Head Coach Lewis Sims was proud of his team’s effort and complimented Coach Lee and his team on the victory.
“That’s what you expect when you play Picayune,” Sims said after the game.
Picayune travels to Lucedale next week to play the 4-2 George County Rebels.