Maroon Tide rises fast to overcome Vancleave 69-42

Audio replay of the game (Click Here)


Picayune—Vancleave and Picayune went punch for punch for the first eighteen minutes of the game before the Maroon Tide was able to build a two possession lead and pull away for a 69-42 win on Homecoming 2021 at Lee-Triplett Stadium.


Vancleave opened the game recovering an onside kick at their own 49 when the football bounced off a Picayune receiver. Dayan Bilbo ran the ball on every snap and scored on a 3 yard run on the 8th play with 9:00 on the clock.


Picayune answered with a 9 play 58 yard drive which was culminated on “Quick” Chris Davis’ 2 yard touchdown run. Morgan Craft added the point after to tie the game at 7-7 with 4:59 left.


Bilbo, who came into the game with 1,287 yards and 18 touchdowns on 198 carries, scored again on a 6 yard run with 3:01 on the clock.


Picayune scored on its first play after another onside kick attempt by the Bulldogs. Dawson Underwood found a wide-open Noah Carter for a 55 yard catch and run for the touchdown. Craft tied it up at 14-14 with his extra point.


All photos by Randy Brown/WRJW Sports

Noah Carter (16) makes the catch on the 55 yard touchdown.


The Maroon Tide defense forced a three and out punt and the snap went over the Vancleave punter setting the Picayune offense at the Bulldog 8. Darnell Smith blasted up the middle on first down for the touchdown and Craft booted the extra point to make 21-14 with 1:26 left in the first quarter.



Darnell Smith (41) goes in untouched for a touchdown


The Bulldogs would score on the next possession using a 10 play drive to go 52 yards with Bilbo scoring on a 4 yard run with 8:23 to go before half and the third extra point by Gavin Waltman tied it at 21-21 with 8:23 left in the half.


Taking over after the kickoff at its 43, Picayune gave the ball to Dante “Double D” Dowdell and he rambled the 57 yards for the touchdown. Craft drilled the point after for a 28-21 lead with 8:09 left.


Donte Dowdell (2) on his way for a big gain.


Vancleave’s next possession was halted on a failed fourth down pass.

Picayune wasted no time to score again when Dowdell went 80 yards for a touchdown with 5:44 left on the clock. Craft was again good on the extra point for a 35-21 lead.


The next possession for the Bulldogs resulted in a blocked punt by Picayune’s Amarion Tyson that set the offense up at the Vancleave 26. Darnell Smith got his second touchdown when be slashed through defense on the first play. Craft again split the uprights and Picayune led 42-21 with 4:06 left.


Vancleave turned the ball over on downs at their 40 and Dowdell scored 5 plays later on a 19 yard run with :47 left before halftime.


Vancleave scored on its first possession of the third quarter on 22 yard run by Bilbo. They went for and were successful on another onside kick and recovered the ball at the Picayune 47. Bilbo scored again, this time from 31 yards out, to cut the lead to 49-35 with 4:44 left in the third quarter.


Picayune answered with a 6 yard run by Dowdell with 2:16 left in the quarter and Craft was true again for a 56-35 lead.


Picayune added touchdowns by Niquis Ratcliff (39 yard run) and David (21 yard run) and Layton Eder (35 yard run).


Dowdell finished with 257 yards on 14 carries and his four touchdowns gives him 10 for the year.


Bilbo ran the ball 46 times for 267 yards.


Picayune (5-1, 2-0) hits the road on Friday traveling to Hurley to take on East Central.

@WRJW