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Maroon Tide keeps streak alive with 49-10 win against Panthers

Picayune’s Maroon Tide held on to a perfect season in Friday’s matchup with the Brookhaven Panthers, beating out the visiting team 49-10 and moving on to the next round of the 5A playoffs.

The biggest play of the night was when Donte Dowdell carried the ball for more than 70 yards in the fourth quarter with 7:01 left to play. By that time the Maroon Tide already had a commanding lead on the Panthers; Dowdell’s big play put the score at the game’s final mark of 49-10 with Austin Samples’ successful PAT.

But the game began with a Brookhaven touchdown when Dre Ross capitalized on a quarterback keeper from the Maroon Tide’s 20. Trace Brady’s PAT put the score at 7-0 with 9:20 to play in the first quarter. It would be the only time Brookhaven had the lead that night.

Picayune nearly answered right back on the subsequent possession when Chad Dudenhefer carried the ensuing kickoff to just outside the goal line, but the ball was fumbled into the end zone and recovered by the Panthers.

But Brookhaven didn’t keep the ball for long. After a three and out, Picayune again made a big play when Cameron Thomas carried the ball from Brookhaven’s 48 to the endzone, but a flag negated the touchdown. Five plays later, Picayune’s Kade Turnage reached paydirt from 34 yards out with 5:18 left in the first quarter. Samples again put the ball between the uprights, tying the game at 7-7.

Picayune just kept scoring from then on. After Brookhaven lost possession of the ball on downs, Thomas completed another 48 yard run to the end zone with 2:18 in the first quarter, this time without a penalty flag touching the field. A missed PAT attempt by Samples put the score at 13-7.

In the second quarter with 11:50 still on the clock, Thomas scored again, this time from 45 yards out. Samples put the ball where it needed to go for an extra point and brought the score to 20-7.

In the team’s subsequent possession, Brookhaven had to settle for a field goal with 6:52 left in the first half when a 12 play drive that began at the team’s own 30 failed to get the ball to the end zone. Trace Brady scored three points from the Tide’s four yard line and brought the score to 20-10.

Picayune then traversed more than 60 yards in three plays capped with a 17-yard run from Thomas with 5:48 left in the first half. Samples put the extra point on the board and the score was 27-10.

The lead was widened even further before halftime when Picayune reclaimed possession of the ball on downs and Thomas carried the ball from Brookhaven’s 15. With only 27 seconds left to play before halftime, a two point conversion run by Jalen Hall brought the score to 36-10.

Early in the fourth quarter, Thomas again made a big play from the 50 to bring the lead to 42-10 with Samples’ PAT.

An interception by the Maroon Tide’s Leonard Taylor gave Picyaune the ball again, which the team capitalized upon three plays later when Dowdell made the big play for the final touchdown of the game.

Picayune now moves on to the next round of the playoffs to face Laurel on Nov. 22.