Picayune comes off an open date and opens region play on Friday at Wayne County. Yes, the War are now a region foe and their insertion into Region 4 Class 5A makes an already tough slate even tougher for all teams in the region.
Wayne County and Picayune have played every season since 2005 except for 3 years (2007,2011,2012) with the games occurring in the playoffs.
The War Eagles, like the Maroon Tide, have been fighting injuries, some season ending, through the summer and fall, but as Picayune Head Coach Dodd Lee points out, some things remain constant in Waynesboro.
“They are a typical Wayne County team. Big up front, especially on defense, and they always have great skill people,” shared Lee.
The big up front on defense starts with 6-3, 288 pound Ole Miss commit , senior Quintin Bivens.
“He’s a load. We’ll have our hands full with him. And not just him, they front is very good. It’ll be a challenge for our guys to block them,” Lee commented.
While Bivens disrupts the line, senior middle linebacker C.J. Chambers leads Wayne County with 39 tackles.
Offensively, Picayune got a taste of War Eagle quarterback Zabryan Jackson (5-9, 150, Sr.) during last year’s playoffs when the Maroon Tide beat Wayne County 40-38 with a late field in the second round of the playoffs at Picayune’s Lee-Triplett Stadium. Lee shared his thoughts on Jackson.
“He’s their guy. You’ve got to stop him or slow him down. He’s the cog in their wheel. He’s a very good runner. Very good and throws it well too,” Lee stated.
Jackson is their leading rusher with 63 carries for 322 yards and 7 touchdowns. He has thrown two touchdowns completing 21 of 51 passes for 361 yards with one interception.
The War Eagles are 2-2 on the year having beaten West Jones 43-7, lost to a very strong Oak Grove team 42-3, lost to 3A juggernaut Jefferson Davis County (the new Bassfield/Prentiss consolidation) by a score of 48-34, and then shutout Moss Point 37-0 last week on the road.
“We need to execute, do the little things to contain the quarterback, and hopefully have a chance to win it in the fourth quarter, “ Lee said.
Picayune, after dropping their opener to Poplarville 27-24, reeled off three impressive wins over D’Iberville 31-10, Pascagoula 28-6, and Gulfport 37-7 before last week’s open date.
The Maroon Tide has spread the ball around on offense using senior tailback Shaun Anderson (5-8, 175) and juniors Jortin Raine and Jaurice Travis who both have given Picayune a boost behind Picayune’s solid offensive front. Anderson has 81 rushes for 544 yards and has scored 5 touchdowns (3 rushing, 2 receiving). Senior quarterback Tyler Penton (6-3, 215) has been solid completing 15 of 34 passes for 270 yards and 4 touchdowns. Penton is the guy that Lee says will take the Maroon Tide as far as they can go.
“I ride Tyler pretty hard, but he knows that how far we go depends a lot on his play and leadership,” Lee said earlier this week.
Defensively, it’s been a good start for Picayune with junior Jeremiah Stallings and senior Brian Taylor once again leading the Maroon Tide defense. Stallings (30 tackles, 2 interceptions) and Taylor (29 tackles, 3 sacks, and a fumble recovery) lead a talented group that includes senior lineman Jacob Brumley (24 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery) and junior linebacker Dylan Schabault (22 tackles).
Picayune’s defense will need another solid performance this week dealing with Jackson.
The game can be heard on WRJW 1320 AM, wrjwradio.com, and the WRJW smart phone app.
Tune in at 6:00pm for PRCC Football with Ted Egger with host Tony Smith and sponsored by Stonewall’s BBQ and Catering. At 6:15pm it’s the SEC Update with Jason Crowder sponsored by A-Plus Insurance and the Maroon Tide broadcast kicks off with the Paw Paw’s Campers and Cars Pregame at 6:30pm.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00pm.