Picayune falls to Yellow Jackets, 63-28

Published 7:00 am Saturday, September 5, 2015

Twitter: PatrickOchs
ST. MARTIN — If the No. 1 Yellow Jackets aren’t careful they may begin to get a reputation — as the Coast’s most dangerous offense.
They certainly have Picayune coach Dodd Lee believing.
Friday marked the third straight game where St. Martin made breakaway play after breakaway play. This time, St. Martin routed No. 6 Picayune  63-28 at Joe Barlow Stadium to earn the program’s first win over the Maroon Tide.
“This was a gut check,” SMHS coach Eddie Wayne Whitehead said, almost nit picking several missed scoring opportunities in the first half.
It’s true. St. Martin (3-0) didn’t fully assert itself until the third quarter. The Yellow Jackets’ defense held firm on their first defensive series of the frame, ruining a fourth-down attempt on their on 30. Six plays later senior Tyler Polk broke free for a 35-yard score, one of five rushing touchdowns on the night, to put St. Martin ahead 35-21. Following a three-and-out by Picayune (0-2), running back Ham Mcgee scored on a 5-yard run to push St. Martin’s lead to 42-21. Mcgee also scored St. Martin’s final touchdown on a 7-yard run.
“I thought we were in the game until we got stopped on the first drive of the second half,” Lee said. “They’re excellent offensively. They have an excellent football team and should go a long way.
“They have a chance to do something. They have more talent than a lot of teams that have won state championships. You can quote that.”
St. Martin’s two-headed monster at quarterback of Polk and Wayne Overman was clicking once again.
Overman completed 13 of 15 passes for 196 yards with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Kalem Reddix that put St. Martin ahead 21-14 in the second quarter.
Overman also rushed for 103 yards and a 1-yard touchdown.
Polk, meanwhile, racked up 280 yards and five touchdown runs of 16, 65, 35, 28 and 27 yards.
Gut feeling
Sometimes, Whitehead just gets a feeling. He can’t exactly explain it. It can strike at any point during a game.
“It just hits me who to go with,” he said. “It might be in the middle of a series.”
In fact, that’s exactly what happened on St. Martin’s opening drive. Overman led the Jackets deep into Picayune’s territory only to have Polk take the ball in for a 16-yard score to go ahead 7-0.
“The first time we did it, we ran the option with Tyler and boom, we score,” Whitehead said. “Wayne had just drove us down the field so you’re probably thinking he’s a dummy for making a change but I just had a feeling Tyler was going to go.”
For the second straight game, Picayune’s Josh Littles kept his team in the contest. One week after rushing for 322 yards, the junior running back racked up 251 and scored four touchdowns on runs of 77, 2, 3 and 44 yards.
The Yellow Jackets will hit the road next week, traveling to Crestview (Fla.). The Maroon Tide’s 6A out-of-region schedule continues with a visit to Gulfport.

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