Tide takes Falcons

Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 12, 2016

It was a cold and dank night for the Wingfield Falcons as Picayune hammered their way into the second round of the playoffs behind running back Shaun Anderson who scored four times in Picayune’s 63-30 victory.
The Maroon Tide started the game rolling offensively as Anderson capped a 70-yard drive with a 29-yard scamper into the end zone.
“We’re hungry to win a championship,” Anderson said. “We know we have the talent as a whole, we just need to come out each week wanting a win more than our opponent.”
On the Falcon’s subsequent drive, they had the home team on a scare, scoring on their third play with a 69-yard catch by Wingfield’s wide receiver Terry Watts, tying the score at 6-6 after a failed 2-point conversion attempt.
It didn’t take long for Picayune to respond to the Falcons quick touchdown, as Maroon Tide running back David Baker had a 7-yard touchdown run on a drive full of big plays set up by Josh Littles and Anderson with 4:26 to go in the first quarter.
Littles ran a 2-point conversion to the end zone after the score to give the Tide a 14-6 lead.
Then, under the cold Friday night lights, the Picayune defense came alive, forcing Wingfield to punt in their ensuing four possessions, which set up Baker with a 2-yard touchdown run and Anderson with a pair of touchdowns; one taken to the house for a 39-yard touchdown with 8 seconds to go in the first quarter and the other was a 8-yard run set up by a 21-yard gain by Littles to bring the score to 36-6 with 4 minutes to go in the first half.
Although the Tide focused on their running game, it was an unusual appearance of their passing game that saved them in crucial situations.
“You never know what you might need to get a first down or keep the ball moving down the field. Tonight, it happened to be through the air at some points,” Picayune’s Head Football Coach Dodd Lee said.
The Picayune defense stopped Falcons quarterback La’andre Thomas for the fifth Wingfield offensive possession in a row after Jermiah Stallings had a bruising hit to force an opposing receiver to drop the ball.
Then, after a 46 yard catch by Picayune receiver Chris Magee, kicker Isidro Loya booted a 26-yard field goal to give his team a 39-6 lead at the half.
The Maroon Tide defensive momentum did not stop when the teams came out of the locker room, forcing another Falcons punt that translated into Anderson’s fourth touchdown run for 15 yards.
However, with 6:01 to go in the third quarter, Wingfield found an offensive groove after Thomas rushed 26 yards for a touchdown, slowly closing the gap 46-14.
“[Thomas] is hard to catch,” Lee said. “You could pin him up in a small room and still have trouble tackling him. He’s a great player and gave us a hard time tonight.”
Picayune responded with a quick drive of its own, and running back Jortin Raine finished off a 56-yard drive with a 3-yard plunge into the end zone with 4:55 still to go in the third.
On the Falcons ensuing drive, Thomas threw a bomb to his receiver Henry Perry for a 80-yard touchdown on the Falcons’ first play, and after a 2-point conversion from Watts, the score was 53-22 in Picayune’s favor.
No matter how far ahead Picayune separated themselves from Wingfield, the Tide’s defense never let up and at end of the third quarter, Raine picked off Falcon’s Thomas and took it to the barn, crushing Wingfield’s hopes of advancing to next week’s game.
Next week, Picayune faces Wayne County High School, which is the team that eliminated the Tide in the playoffs last year, beating them 58-28.
“Our guys came into tonight prepared and ready to play and we plan on being that way for Wayne County on Friday,” Lee said.

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