The Picayune Maroon Tide overcame four fumbles, two as Tide runners were just feet from scoring touchdowns, and a stubborn Stone Tomcat team, to post a 36-21 win in Region 4-5A action at Lee-Triplett Stadium in Picayune.
Stone took advantage of the second Picayune fumble at the Maroon Tide 39. A pass interference penalty and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty put the ball at the Tide 14. Three players later, Trey Arrington threw a 2 yard touchdown pass to Caleb Armstrong with 6:38 left in the first quarter. Dawson Cudd’s point after made it 7-0.
After Picayune fumbled for the third consecutive time on their next possession when a Tide runner had the ball punched out from behind as he was about to score on a 56 yard run. The ball bounced through the end zone and Stone took over at their 20 after the touchback.
Elijah Jenkins (54) and Kyle Stockstill (62) defending against Stone.
Jairice Travis turned things around for Picayune when he jumped a Stone pass route and returned the interception 61 yards for a touchdown. Issac Brice’s extra point tied the game at 7-7 with 5:28 left in the quarter.
After holding Stone and forcing a punt on the possession after the Tide kickoff, Picayune drove 59 yards in 9 plays with Travis scoring on a 5 yard run for his 10th rushing touchdown of the season. Brice’s kick made it 14-7 with 9:09 left in the second quarter.
Picayune’s special teams got the ball back when Dylan Schaubhut blocked a Tomcat punt and Travis grabbed the loose ball and returned it to the Stone 12. Two plays later, Jortin Raine bullied his way in from 8 yards out and Brice’s point after made it 21-7 with 6:08 left before halftime.
Picayune's Jortin Raine (2) being chased by Stone's Ian Flurry (23)
Picayune got another chance to score after forcing a Stone punt, but the Tide missed a 32 yard field goal as time expired in the half.
Stone dominated the third quarter. The Tomcats took the second half kickoff and marched 73 yards on 12 plays scoring a touchdown on a 3 yard run by Trey Arrington. Cudd’s point after made it 21-14 with 5:48 left in the quarter.
The Tomcats executed an onside kick and recovered the ball at the Picayune 44. Stone, facing a 4th down and 14 yards to go at the Tide 29, scored on a pass from Arrington to Kaleb Giliner. Cudd tied the game at 21-21 on his extra point with 1:48 left in the quarter.
On the possession after the Tomcat kickoff, Picayune fumbled the ball as a Tide runner was about to score when a Stone defender punched the ball out inside the one yard line and the ball scooted out the back of the end zone for a touchback.
After Stone was forced to punt the ball away, Picayune started at their on 20 and marched the 80 yards in 7 plays with quarterback Jakail Myers scoring from 1 yard out. After Stone jumped offside on the point after attempt, Picayune elected to go for two and Raine ran it in for the conversion giving Picayune a 29-21 lead with 6:18 left in the game.
The Maroon Tide defense forced a three and out and Stone’s punt put the ball at the Maroon Tide 45. Picayune went the 55 yards in 6 plays with Kade Turnage busting threw a whole formed by Garrett Franklin for a 23 yard touchdown with 1:43 left. Brice extra point was good for a 36-21 lead.
Jairice Travis intercepted his second pass at the Stone 35 to end the game.
Picayune amassed 370 yards running the football with Raine, who entered the game with 1,003 yards, carrying the ball 30 times for 265 yards. Turnage added 73 yards on 4 carries.
Picayune (5-2, 3-0) will host Long Beach on Friday at Lee-Triplett Stadium.