Maroon Tide stymies George County in 2nd half to clinch region title
By Carey Meitzler
Lucedale—Picayune gave up 21 unanswered points in the second quarter and trailed 21-14 at the half, but a dominating performance by Maroon Tide in the second half earned the region's top seed for the playoffs with 34-21 win over George County at Gil Martin Stadium.
After forcing George County to punt on its first possession, Picayune moved the ball from its 26 to the Rebels’ 27 before a fumble on the 13th play of the drive thwarted the nearly 8 minute possession.
The Maroon Tide defense forced another punt, the offense took over at its 46. Three plays later, Niquis Ratcliff raced 44 yards for a touchdown and Morgan Craft’s point after was good putting Picayune up 7-0 with 10:07 left in the second quarter.
Photos courtesy of Trenton Gascho
Niquis Ratcliff put the Maroon Tide on his shoulders to claim region title
After another three and out with a George County punt, Picayune took over at its 31. The offense went the 69 yards in 9 plays with Ratcliff scoring on a 2 yard run with 5:00 left in the half. Craft booted the point after for a 14-0 lead.
George scored on the second play after the kickoff on a 77 yard run by Deuce Knight.
After the Maroon Tide was held to a three and out, the Rebels started at their own 23 after the Picayune punt. They went the 77 yards in 9 plays with Knight connecting on a 30 yard touchdown pass to Marlin Odom with :36 left to tie the game at 14-14.
Picayune, using its timeouts perfectly, advanced the ball to the Rebel 25 setting up a field goal attempt. The kick was blocked, and Gage Reeves scooped up the ball and ran the touchdown on the last play of the half giving George County a 21-14 lead.
The second half was all Maroon Tide.
The first possession of the 3rd quarter was an 8 play 70 yard drive with Ratcliff slicing his way in from 26 yards out with 7:34 on the clock. Craft tied the game at 21-21 with his point after touchdown.
Picayune’s defense held George County to back to back three and outs, while the Maroon Tide offense put the game away behind the play of their offensive line.
The first drive was 15 plays 77 yards using 7:47 off the clock. Jeremiah Contee busted loose up the middle for a 22 yard touchdown with 9:28 left in the game.
Amarion Tyson on his way for a touchdown.
The next drive for the Maroon Tide was quick. Starting at the Rebels’ 45, Amarion Tyson sprinted through the right side for 36 yard touchdown with 6:53 left.
Ratcliff ran 40 times for 305 yards and Contee added 54 yards on 9 carries behind a stellar performance by the offensive line of Donel Lewis, Mitchell Smith, Quinton Haynes, Javen Bolden, and Brenan Williams.
Picayune’s defense held George County to 26 yards total offense in the second half.
Picayune (7-2, 4-0) will host Hancock in the regular season finale on Thursday before getting ready for the playoffs the following week.