Hornets sting Maroon Tide 27-24 in season opener
Picayune jumped out to a 24-13 lead over the Poplarville Hornets, but the Maroon Tide was held scoreless in the second half and dropped their season opener 27-24 before a standing room only crowd of an estimated 3,000 in Poplarville.
Picayune got off to a fast start as sophomore Jakail Myers took the opening kick off at his 15 and raced down the left sideline to the Hornet 11. Senior quarterback Tyler Penton scored three plays later and Sami Nagi’s extra point made it 7-0 with 10:28 showing on the clock.
The Hornets came back quickly as Austin Bolton broke free on their second play from scrimmage for a 73 yard touchdown run and the extra put the score at 7-7 with 9:35 left in the first quarter.
The Maroon Tide scored on their next possession on a 10 play 65 yard drive using five minutes and twenty eight seconds off the clock. V.J. Holt scored on a 13 yard run and Nagi’s point after made it 14-7 with 4:07 left in the quarter.
On the next Poplarville possession, Picayune’s Brian Taylor recovered a fumble at the Maroon Tide 42.
Picayune went the 68 yards in 8 plays with junior Jortin Raine scoring on a 15 yard run with 10:52 left in the second quarter. Nagi converted the point after for a 21-7 lead.
Poplarville answered on another run by Bolton, this time from 63 yards, and the point was wide right leaving the score a 21-13 with 9:20 left in the half.
Picayune’s next possession was a three and out punt and Poplarville gave it back to the Maroon Tide when the Picayune defense stopped the Hornets on a fourth down run at the Hornet 40.
Taking over with 5:31 left, the Maroon Tide moved the ball to the Hornet 3 and settled for a 20 yard Sami Nagi field goal for a 24-13 lead with :04 showing on the clock.
In the third quarter, Poplarville scored the first possession of the half on a 37 yard run by Bolton and a 2 point conversion made it 24-21 with 9:56 left.
Picayune was three and out on their next possession and punted the ball
back to the Hornets 9 yard line. The Hornets put together a 9 play 91 yard drive using four minutes and forty-eight seconds. Roosevelt Raine scored the touchdown on a 37 yard run and added a 2 point conversion for a 27-24 lead with 4;15 left in the third quarter.
Picayune next possession ended on an interception at the Hornet 1 yard line. The Hornets nearly nine minutes off the clock moving the ball down the Picayune 36 before having to punt the ball away after being called for penalties that put them in long yardage situations.
After the Hornet punt, Picayune started the drive at their 6 yard line with 6:29 left in the game. The Maroon Tide got a 48 yard run from senior running back Shaun Anderson on first down putting the ball at the Hornet 46 and a 15 yard penalty put the ball at the Hornet 31. Twice during the next drive, the Maroon Tide scored touchdowns, but holding penalties nullified the plays. Picayune eventually punted the ball back to the Hornets with 2:56 left.
Picayune was unable to stop the Hornets as they converted a first down and were able to run out the clock to sealed the win.
Poplarville rushed for 440 yards on on 42 carries with Bolton finishing with 232 yards on 10 rushes.
Picayune totaled 231 yards rushing on 36 attempts and Tyler Penton completed 4 of 9 passes for 47 yards.
Picayune (0-1) will host D’Iberville on Friday while Poplarville (1-0) will play host to Pearl River Central.