Picayune beats Poplarville 31-21 in a slugfest

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Picayune--Picayune grinded out a 31-21 win over the Poplarville Hornets at Lee-Triplett Stadium with the help of two third quarter fourth down stops and a steady dose of senior tailback Austin Samples.


The Maroon Tide scored on the first possession of the game with a 7 play 72 yard drive with sophomore fullback Darnell Smith scoring on a 6 yard run. Freshman Morgan Craft converted the point after.


Poplarville only needed two plays to answer the Picayune touchdown when Gregory Swan raced in from 53 yards away. The extra point was no good and the Maroon Tide led 7-6 with 7:46 left in the first quarter.


Photos by Randy Brown/WRJW Sports

Dorian Robinson (5) fights for yardage behind blocking from Collen Penton (63), Kendall Jones (54), and Garrett Hunter (60).


Picayune took over at its own 35 yard line after the Hornets kickoff went out of bounds. It took the Maroon Tide 6 plays to go the 65 yards with the touchdown coming on a 28 yard run by junior Dorian Robinson with 4:30 left in the first quarter. Craft’s extra point made it 14-6.


After forcing a Poplarville punt, Picayune grinded out a 10 play 75 yard drive that produced a 6 yard touchdown run by junior Payton Waddell, and with the Craft extra point, gave the Maroon Tide a 21-6 lead with 9:03 left in the second quarter.


Garrett Hunter (60) just before blocking Poplarville's Hagen Hall


The Hornets responded with a 2 yard touchdown run by Matt Will and Zach Carpenter’s point after made it 21-13 with 6:57 left in the quarter.


Picayune and Poplarville each turned the ball over on downs on their next possessions.


The Maroon Tide fumbled the ball right back to the Hornets, but the Picayune defense held the Hornets again on downs and the Maroon Tide offense got the ball back with 12 seconds on the game clock.


On first down, senior Isaac Hickman lofted a perfectly thrown pass to senior Jayshawn Lee to move the ball to the Hornet 17 and Picayune quickly called a timeout to setup a field goal attempt. Morgan Craft’s kick split the uprights from 34 yards as the first half expired giving the Maroon Tide a 24-13 lead.


Twice in the third quarter, the Picayune defense would stop the Hornets in Maroon Tide territory. The first time was at the Picayune 10, after a Picayune punt, the defense held the Hornets at the Maroon Tide 31 when senior Kaylup Jones recovered a Poplarville fumble on fourth down.


The offense responded with a 11 play drive with Samples scoring his sixth touchdown of the season on a 2 yard run. Craft’s extra point was true again giving Picayune a 31-13 advantage with 7:40 to play in the game.


Poplarville closed out the scoring on a 2 yard by Will and added a 2 point conversion with 1:16 left in the game.


Picayune rushed for 326 yards and Samples accounted for 197 of the yards on 25 carries.


The Maroon Tide (3-0) starts region play on Friday hosting East Central.

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