Hattiesburg remains undefeated as it defeats Picayune

Published 11:18 pm Friday, October 20, 2017

PICAYUNE — In a game with seven lead changes, Hattiesburg did just enough to avoid an upset and defeated Picayune 41-37 on Friday.

With just over five minutes left in the game, Picayune’s Shaun Anderson ran for a 20 yard gain, but a late hit caused him to fumble the ball and Hattiesburg recovered it on their own 46-yard line.

Facing a fourth-and-three, Tiger’s Jarod Conner connected with D’andre Humbles, which gave Hattiesburg a first down at the Maroon Tide’s 16-yard line.

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Four plays later, Humbles ran into the end zone after catching a 10-yard pass from Conner, which gave the Tigers a 41-37 lead with 2:31 left in the game.

With 40 seconds left in the game, Hattiesburg stopped Anderson short of a first down as Picayune faced a fourth-and-eight on the Tigers 39-yard line.

“We played hard but we can play better,” Picayune coach Dodd Lee said. “We can coach better than that, we can tackle better than that, we can defend and cover better than that.”

Hattiesburg (9-0, 5-0) jumped to an early lead as Conner threw a 41-yard bomb to Jaylynn Page with less than two minutes in the game.

The Maroon Tide (7-2, 4-1) quickly responded as an eight-play, 65-yard drive ended in a one-yard touchdown by Anderson. Kicker Sami Naji failed to convert the extra point, which gave Hattiesburg a one-point lead with six minutes left in the first.

Picayune obtained their first lead of the game as Anderson ran untouched into the end zone for 34 yards early in the second quarter.

The Maroon Tide’s lead was short-lived as Raheem Willis tied the game at 14 five plays later with a 49-yard reception with 8:48 left in the second.

With less than a minute left in the second quarter, Austin Samples kicked a 20-yard field goal, which gave Picayune a 17-14 lead just before halftime, but Hattiesburg had other plans.

The Tigers started their drive on its own 33-yard line and Conner completed two passes to Jamal Donaldson and Jaylan Rogers for over 30 yards, which placed Hattiesburg in scoring position with 40 seconds left before halftime.

Conner ran into the end zone for an eight-yard touchdown one play later and gave the Tigers a 21-17 lead just before the half.

Anderson got the lead back for the Tide when he rushed for a 28-yard score with 9:05 left in the third quarter.

Three plays later, the Tigers took the lead once again as Dennis Payton rushed for a 22-yard score, which was set up by a 58-yard scramble by Conner in the previous play.

On Picayune’s next possession, Anderson scored a 35-yard touchdown, which ended an eight-play, 59-yard drive for the Maroon Tide.

With 8:24 left in the game, Brian Taylor rushed for a 38-yard score and gave Picayune a 37-28 lead over Hattiesburg, the biggest of the game.

Conner scored his fourth touchdown of the game as Willis caught a 12-yard pass and ran it into the end zone.

“We knew he (Conner) was good coming into the game and we had to tackle him,” Lee said.

“Maybe we’ll face them later on again, we’ll see.”