Picayune Earns Tough Road Win in Opener
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Brandon-- Picayune never wilted in their 2023 season opener and came away with a hard fought 28-21 win over the Brandon Bulldogs. The game lived up to the expectations with a back and forth pace that had a playoff atmosphere before a large crowd at Bulldog Stadium.
Picayune held Brandon on downs at Brandon 45 yard line, and the offense capitalized on the good field position with an 8 play drive that resulted in a Chris Davis one yard touchdown. Jamal Simmons’ extra point made it 7-0 with 7:17 to play in the quarter.
While the Picayune defense kept the Bulldogs in check, special teams provided a golden opportunity when Amarion Tyson blocked a punt and recovered the loose ball at the Brandon 6 yard line. Picayune gave the ball back to Brandon after a fourth down pass was incomplete.
After an exchange of punts, and each team being held on downs, Brandon put together a 5 play 88 yard drive to tie the score on a 19 yard pass from Landon Barnes to Cameron Keyes. The extra point tied the game at 7-7 with :25 left in the half.
The second half’s first possession ended on a Picayune fumble at the Brandon 15 yard line.
The Maroon Tide defense held again to force a Bulldog punt and Picayune took over on its own 40. The Picayune offense ran 11 plays using 5 mins and 46 seconds of clock to cover the 60 yards with Davis slicing in from 8 yards out. Simmons extra point out the snap from Cannen Uzell and hold by Brady Robertson made it 14-7 with 2:12 left in the third quarter.
All photos courtesy of DeAnna Hunt Photography
The Picayune defense once again held Brandon on downs, and gave the ball back to offense at the Bulldog 35.
Davis scored his third touchdown of the game on a 6 yard run. The Simmons’ point after made it 21-7 with 10:38 left in the game.
Brandon answered on its then possession with a 37 run by Nate Blount to cut the lead to 21-14 with 8:33 left.
Brandon attempted an onside kick and Picayune snatched the ball safely at its 49 yard line. The Maroon Tide took 8 plays to score coming on a perfect throw from Brady Robertson to B.J. Ducre for an 18 yard touchdown with 3:29 left.
Down 28-14, Brandon went 65 yards using 12 plays to score on a 4 yard touchdown pass from Barnes to Jay McQueen with :27 left to make it a one possession game at 28-21.
Picayune recovered another onside kick and was able to run the clock out to preserve the win.
“That was as good as it gets right there in high school football in the state of Mississippi,” Head Coach Cody Stogner stated shortly after the game.
“We felt we left a lot of points out there, but our defense bailed us out like always. We got in there at halftime and came out and responded in the third quarter,” he added.
“That team right there (Brandon) will be playing late in the season and that’s feather in our cap to beat them.”
Chris Davis paced the Maroon Tide with 232 yards on 42 carries. Robertson was masterful in directing the offense and completed 3 of 4 attempts for 45 yards. Jeremiah Contee had 10 carries for 52 yards.
The Maroon Tide defensive front put pressure on the Brandon quarterback all night with stellar efforts from J.B. McWilliams, Jamonta Waller, and a host of others.
Picayune (1-0) will host Catholic High of Baton Rouge (LA) on Friday with a kickoff time to be determined.