Picayune has won home games over Class 6A opponents D'Iberville and Pascagoula the past two weeks after losing their season opener at Poplarville. The Maroon Tide will be on the road on Friday traveling to Milner Stadium to take on the Gulfport Admirals.
The Admirals, under Eddie Pierce, are 1-2 coming off a road loss to Louisiana powerhouse Rummel on Saturday night. But don't think Picayune's Dodd Lee and his team are expecting an easy go of it on Friday.
"They present a lot of challenges for us. On offense, they have switch to the same offense that Georgia Tech and Navy run. It's has a lot of motion, a lot of different sets that put a lot of responsibility on our defense to stay sound in our assignments," Lee said. "If we don't stay in our lanes, play fundamentally sound each play, before you know it, they'll have someone laying the ball down in the end zone in a hurry."
Gulfport relies heavily on junior quarterback T.Q. Newsome who leads them in rushing with 163 yards on 37 carries and he has scored four touchdowns. Newsome, who transferred from Long Beach two seasons ago, is a handful at 6-2, 205 lbs. Through the air, Newsome has completed 15 of 34 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown. Karlos Dillard, a 6-1, 220 pounder is the fullback and has run the ball 18 times for 91 yards.
"It comes down to our guys being focus each play. One lapse and they'll score. We've got to be locked in defensively," Lee stated.
Jeremiah Stallings, 5-8, 155, junior safety is the Tide's leading tackler with 27 tackles, two interceptions, and two tackles for loss. Senior linebacker Brian Taylor has recorded 22 stops and one sack.
Offensively, the Maroon Tide continues to rely heavily on their running attack led by senior tailback Shaun Anderson. Anderson, 5-7, 165, has rushed for 381 yards on 60 carries this season and caught two touchdown passes from senior quarterback Tyler Penton (6-3, 215) last week against Pascagoula in Picayune's 27-6 win.
"You know for us, each week we don't really know what to expect from the opposing defense. We may see them in a certain set or scheme on film, and when they line up against us, it is usually something we haven't seen them do on film. But we are unique in what we do and we've come to expect it every week."
Lee has been really pleased with the play of his team so far.
"We have so many guys contributing right now. I mean, the depth we are building could be a huge factor for us down the road when we get the ones hurt back. I really like our effort and our attitude the past few weeks."
Picayune has thrown ball extremely well as of late and Lee thinks it makes this team harder to defend.
"We have real good team speed and some guys who are getting more confidence each day. Tyler gives us a lot of options with his ability. He's a good player and he allows us to do a few extra things," said Lee.
Picayune's game will be on WRJW 1320 AM, wrjwradio.com, and the WRJW smart phone app. Coverage starts at 6:30pm with the Paw Paw's Campers and Cars Pregame Show with Carey Meitzler (play by play), Todd Meitzler (color commentator), and Donald "Dandy Don" Balch.