Picayune ready to grind after early setback

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 24, 2017

PICAYUNE — When a football team like Picayune falls during a season opener it is quite a tumble. However, the 5A state championship teams in the past five years have all lost at least one of its first two games of the season, including the Maroon Tide’s 2013 state championship season.

“Nick Saban calls it a process, but I call it a grind,” Lee said. “Without being beat, it’s hard to be your best. You just got to get up and keep working hard and this team worked really, really hard this week to get ready for Friday.”

Every year, Picayune’s schedule usually starts with three to four games against 6A state championship contending teams.

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This week, Picayune (0-1) hosts D’Iberville (1-0), a 6A team who comes off an impressive 28-21 win at Tylertown last week.

“You get better from playing teams that have a chance to beat you,” Lee said. “Our goal is to work hard every day and wake up better than the day before.”

The Warriors has a number of offensive players in the backfield who run with a sense of purpose. During last week’s bout against Tylertown, Warriors Jordan Hartley ran the ball for 96 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown, caught the only reception of the game for an additional 50 yards and took it to the end zone. Picayune enters Friday’s game with a hefty challenge in front of them.

“Both teams are used to being successful, which sets up a pretty good battle ahead,” Lee said.

Last year, Picayune beat D’Iberville 35-7 behind former running back Josh Littles’ 198 yards on the ground and 15-yard reception for a touchdown. Now without Littles, Picayune’s running back Shaun Anderson will need to fill his shoes. After running for 110 yards against a hard-knock Poplarville defense last week, Anderson is still on the search for his first touchdown of the season, but this week’s matchup against the Warriors bodes nicely for the senior running back.

V.J. Holt is also set to continue an impressive season. The Tide’s wideout did a little of everything for the Maroon Tide against the Hornets, grabbing two receptions for 23 yards and rushing for 49 yards, including a 14-yard sweep for a touchdown.

In preparation for Friday’s bout, Lee said he has reiterated to his team he expects focus come game day.

“Doing the little things will make the big things happen. We just need to focus on our job and execute,” Lee said.

Picayune hosts D’Iberville Friday at 7 p.m.