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Maroon Tide surges past East Central with strong 2nd half

Picayune—After being held scoreless in the first half, the Picayune Maroon Tide punched in two touchdowns in the second half on its way to a 14-7 win over the East Central Hornets in the Region 4-5A opener at Lee-Triplett Stadium.

The Hornets scored first on a 72 yard touchdown run by Cayden Fant with 7:29 left in the second quarter.

East Central missed a golden opportunity to scored again before the end of the half. The Hornets scored an apparent touchdown, but were flagged for illegal aiding of a ball carrier and a subsequent unsportsmanlike conduct that moved the ball from the 1 to the 31 yard line. They missed 48 yard field goal attempt.

Picayune took the second half kickoff and marched down the field with a 9 play 71 yard drive that was capped on a 25 yard run by senior fullback Mitch Harper on solid blocking from Kaylup Jones, Collen Penton, and Garrett Hunter. Freshman Morgan Craft’s extra point tied the game at 7-7 with 7:56 left in the third quarter.

Mitch Harper (20 makes a tackle.

“We are always are told on offense to just trust our blocks and I did. I saw the hole, and just sprinted,” Harper explained.

Junior linebacker Dorian Robinson setup the second Maroon Tide score with an interception at the Picayune 36.

From there, the Maroon Tide offense ran 10 plays with the senior Isaac Hickman scoring on a 2 yard quarterback sneak with 9:44 left in the game. During the drive, Hickman completed three passes, a 17 yarder to Demarius Magee, a 16 yarder to sophomore Terrance Wilson, and a 25 yarder to senior Jayshawn Lee. Craft booted the point after for a 14-7 lead.

Photos by Chayse Dorn / WRJW Sports

Click on the photo for slideshow

After the two teams exchanged punts, East Central got the ball at its own 40 with 5:28 left in the game. The Hornets moved the ball to the Maroon Tide 6, but the threat was stopped when Hickman pounced on a fumble at the Picayune 1 with 2:05 left.

Facing third down and 9 to go from its own 2, Hickman stepped back into his end zone and completed a pass to senior tight end Treyvion Dorsett for a 26 gain. Picayune then ran out the clock with victory formation kneels by Hickman.

Photo by Randy Brown / WRJW Sports

Trevion Dorsett (44) fights for yardage after the catch that sealed the game

Head Coach Cody Stogner was ecstatic about his team’s comeback.

“We knew it was going to be a dogfight and that’s exactly what it was. They were more physical than us in the first half, and at halftime, I told my guys we have 24 minutes of football left and do you believe we can come back and win this game? They answered the challenge and I’m so proud of them right now.”

Hickman completed 8 of 11 passes for 148 yards. East Central held the Maroon Tide to 85 yards rushing.

Picayune (4-0, 1-0) will travel to Gautier on Friday.


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