Maroon Tide dominates second half to advance to 2nd straight South State Championship
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Picayune- Behind by ten points at halftime, Picayune scored 21 unanswered points to defeat the West Jones 28-17 in Round 2 of the Class 5A playoffs at Lee-Triplett Stadium - Riser Medical Associates Field.
West Jones struck early scoring on the second play of the first series of the game on a 78 yard touchdown pass from Marlon Lindsey to Kymurion Lindsey.
Picayune’s first possession ended on downs at the Mustang 30. The Maroon Tide defense forced a West Jones punt and got the ball at their own 15.
On the first play after the punt, Picayune fumbled the ball and Jonny Hilton scooped up the ball and raced in for the touchdown to make it 14-0 with 4:49 left in the first quarter.
All photos by Randy Brown / WRJW Sports
Triston Cooper (20) pressures West Jones QB Marlon Lindsey
The Maroon Tide answered on its possession with a 10 play 85 yard touchdown drive with Dante Dowdell punching it in from 1 yard out on the first play of the 2nd quarter. Morgan Craft’s point after made it 14-7 with 11:56 left.
After the ensuing kickoff, West Jones was forced to punt on its possession, but Picayune fumbled the punt and the Mustangs took over at the Maroon Tide 20. The defense stiffened and West Jones had to settle for a 35 yard field goal from Joseph Hernandez. Hernandez also kick the Mustang extra points.
Picayune took the second half kickoff and eventually tried a long field goal that was wide right.
Darnell Smith (41) finds opening on blocks from Peyton Wells (left), Donel Lewis (right) and Quintan Haynes (55).
After an exchange of punts, Jessiah Contee intercepted a Mustang pass at the Picayune 24. Picayune marched 76 yards on 11 plays with Dowdell bullying in from 1 yard out to cut the lead to 17-14 with 10:11 left in the game.
Picayune’s defense again stopped West Jones forcing a punt that gave the Maroon Tide offense the ball at the Mustang 45. On third down and twelve yards to go, Darrell Smith weaved his way for 15 yards to convert a first down at the Mustang 32. Six plays later, Dowdell scored on a 3 yard run, his 23rd TD this season, and the extra point by Craft made it 21-17 with 3:58 left.
Dante Dowdell (2) scores his first TD behind a block from Darnell Smith (41).
The defense put the game away when Amarion Tyson scored up a Mustang fumble and raced 37 yards for a touchdown with 2:44 left. Morgan Craft, who is now 61 of 62 on point after touchdowns, split the uprights to make it 28-17.
Contee iced the game with a interception on West Jones possession after the Craft kick off and Picayune kneeled it three times to run out the clock at the Mustang 2 yard line.
Dowdell finished with 164 yards on 27 carries. Chris Davis had 15 totes for 102 yards, and Darnell Smith added 40 yards on 9 rushes.
Picayune (13-0) will host Gautier Friday (day after Thanksgiving) for the South State Championship.