Tide rolls over Panthers 14-0

Published 7:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2016

While it was the lowest scoring game of their season, Picayune pulled out a crucial 14-0 win against Pascagoula, cementing its place in the postseason.
In previous games, Picayune’s Head Football Coach Dodd Lee said his defense let fatigue get to them, but on Friday night that was not the case.
“I thought we did a lot of great things on defense tonight,” Lee said. “We still had some hiccups and missed assignments, but they really stepped up against a great team.”
Picayune started the game with great field position due to a short kickoff that led to the Maroon Tide beginning its drive at midfield. At the end of the drive, Picayune scored with a 15-yard scamper from running back Shaun Anderson, weaving through multiple Panther defenders with 9:04 to go in the first quarter.
After the Maroon Tide took the lead, its defense made sure Pascagoula did not catch up, holding each of the Panthers’ next three possessions to no more than six plays and each ending in punts. To end the half, Pascagoula missed a 42-yard field goal attempt.
Throughout the game, Lee told each of his players on the sideline to “play with your heart,” and his team listened, they came out for the second half with even more tenacity than before.
“That’s what it is all about. We got to play with our hearts to win games,” Lee said.
After the Maroon Tide fumbled the ball with 6:57 to go in the third quarter, the Picayune defense held the Panthers to a three-and-out, forcing them to punt and capitalizing on the turnover.
Last week, Littles did not dress out because of a knee injury that occurred against Stone County. However, seven plays and 52 yards later, Maroon Tide’s Josh Littles took a handoff 17 yards to the house with 2:17 left in the third quarter, returning to the Picayune offense.
After that score, it was all Maroon Tide defense as they forced a fumble on the Panther’s subsequent drive two yards away from Picayune’s end zone. On the next drive, David Baker and Brian Taylor got multiple tackles for a loss in yardage, stopping a potent Pascagoula offense from progressing down the field.
Although the Panthers did have a few big plays toward the end of the game—one of which was a hook and lateral—Picayune got the last laugh as Jeremiah Stallings intercepted Panthers’ quarterback Hunter Collins with 1:50 to go in the game, sealing a victory and a place in the 2016 playoffs.
Picayune takes on its rival Pearl River Central High School in Carriere next Friday to end the regular season.

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