Maroon Tide stings Hornets 28-14 with second half surge
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Hurley- Like a microwave oven, the Picayune Maroon Tide warmed up quickly in the third quarter to erase a 7-0 halftime deficit on its way to a 28-14 win over East Central at T.D. Shirley Field.
Neither team could move the ball early against the opposing defenses with the first three possessions for each team not producing any points.
East Central would score first with 3:53 left in the second quarter when quarterback Duece Hugger scampered around left end for a 17 yard touchdown. The point after made it 7-0.
In the third quarter, the teams swapped punts on their first possession. On Picayune’s second possession, the Maroon Tide went 59 yards in 6 plays with wingback Noah Carter (pictured) scooting in from 9 yards out on a reverse. A big play in the drive was a 27 yard pass from Dawson Underwood to wide receiver Tamauz Oatis that put the ball at the 12 yard line of East Central. Morgan Craft booted the extra point to make it 7-7 with 5:22 left in the third stanza.
East Central came back after the Picayune kickoff and moved the ball to the Maroon Tide 27, but the drive ended abruptly when Amarion Tyson stripped the ball from the Hornet ball carrier and raced down the Maroon Tide sideline for a 74 yard fumble return touchdown. Craft’s point after put Picayune up 14-7 with 2:46 left on the third quarter clock.
After holding East Central on downs, Picayune got the ball at its 46 and put together an 11 play drive that drained over six minutes off the clock. Fullback Darnell Smith capped off the drive with a 17 yard touchdown run behind the blocking of Ryan Pascal, Quentin Haynes, and Payton Wells. The point after was true again by Craft for a 21-7 lead with 6:34 left in the game.
On the first play after East Central received the Maroon Tide kickoff, Picayune forced the ball loose from a Hornet receiver and linebacker Dorian Robinson pounced on it for the fumble recovery at the Maroon Tide 43.
Picayune marched the 57 yards in 7 plays with Underwood sneaking in for the touchdown from 1 yard out with 3:07 left in the game. In the drive, tailback Chris Davis completed a 32 yard pass to Noah Carter to setup a first and goal at the 1 yard line. Craft split the uprights again for a 28-7 lead.
East Central scored on its next possession on a 9 yard run with 1:08 left.
Dante Dowdell ran the ball 19 times for 88 yards and that put him over 1,000 yards for the season. Smith had 5 totes for 38 yards. Underwood netted 21 yards rushing and completed 2 of 3 passess for 33 yards.
Picayune (6-1, 3-0) will be at West Harrison on Friday.