Picayune football defeats Meridian in convincing fashion
Running back Cameron Thomas had another dominant performance as the Maroon Tide rolled to the team’s second straight win, this time against the Meridian Wildcats.
Picayune started on defense, but after a quick three and out the Tide had the ball on the 48-yard line of the Wildcats.
After two short runs, Thomas burst through the Wildcats’ defense for a 38-yard touchdown run.
Austin Samples’ extra point put the Tide in the lead 7-0 with over seven minutes left in the first quarter.
After the Wildcats turned the ball over on downs, the Tide had the ball at their own 42-yard line.
The first play of the drive saw quarterback Jakail Myers hit fullback Blake Mitchell for a long pass that brought Picayune inside the Wildcats’ 5-yard line.
The ball was once again given to Thomas who carried it 3-yards for a touchdown.
Samples knocked another kick though the uprights to give the Maroon Tide a 14-point advantage with 3:27 left in the first quarter.
Another three and out for Meridian gave Picayune the ball at the Wildcats’ 41-yard line.
The Tide wasted little time in scoring, with running back Chad Dudenhefer taking the ball up the middle on the first play of the drive for a 41-yard touchdown run.
Another extra point by Samples gave Picayune a commanding lead of 21-0 with just over a minute left in the first.
The second quarter started with the Wildcats’ punting the ball again, but cornerback Dorian Robinson crossed the line of scrimmage in time to block the punt and give the Maroon Tide the ball on the Wildcats’ 6-yard line.
Quarterback Isaac Hickman dropped back, and hit Thomas on a swing route to the outside for another Picayune touchdown.
Samples’ kick put the lead to 28 with 11:26 left in the second quarter.
On the next defensive possession, Myers intercepted a pass intended for Meridian’s Martavius Earl from quarterback Howard Atterberry.
The interception put Picayune’s offense at the 40-yard line of the Wildcats, and again on the first play of the drive the Tide took it to the house with a long run by runningback Jaylen Hall.
Another Samples’ PAT put the Tide at 35-0 with just over 10 minutes left in the second quarter.
The Wildcats took possession of the ball at their own 35, but were eventually forced to punt, which rolled out of bounds at the Picayune 35-yard line.
However, during the first play of the Tide’s drive, Meridian’s Christopher Ruttley recovered a fumble and took it in for a score.
The point after by Antwan Lang was good, putting the Wildcats on the board at 35-7 with 8:36 left in the second quarter.
The teams then traded possessions as both squads looked for an opening offensively.
Eventually, Picayune’s Thomas ran for 39 yards along the sideline to pay dirt.
Samples again hit the point after attempt to take the score to 42-7 with only a couple minutes left in the half.
Just before halftime Picayune forced another interception, this time by Dorian Robinson. Robinson took the ball to the Wildcats’ 5-yard line, and Thomas punched through the middle for his third touchdown of the game with only seconds remaining in the first half.
Another kick through the uprights by Samples saw Picayune head into halftime with a 49-7 lead.
The Maroon Tide received the ball to start the third quarter, taking possession at their own 35-yard line. What followed was an impressive 12-play drive that culminated in a 12-yard touchdown run from running back Jaylen Hall. After Samples’ kick, the score was 56-7 in favor of the Tide. The Wildcats would take possession of the ball deep in their own territory.
Meridian started their drive with a run up the middle where defensive end Carson Conner was waiting.
He then stripped the ball from the running back Elijah Brown, and both teams tried to recover the loose ball until Elijah Jenkins recovered it for the Maroon Tide.
With ideal field position, Dante Dowdell bruised his way into the endzone for another Picayune touchdown with 11:11 remaining in the game putting the final score at 63-7, as Picayune secured another victory. Head Coach Dodd Lee said that the win was a step in the right direction, but that there is still work that needs to be done. “I hope it helps (the players), and that we keep building on it,” Lee said. Picayune will travel to Gulfport September 13 for their next game with kickoff set for 7 p.m.