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Picayune gets 30-20 win at Meridian in Stogner's debut

The debut of Head Coach Cody Stogner started slow for the Picayune Maroon Tide, but with a strong second quarter surge, Stogner’s team overcame an early deficit to beat Meridian 30-20.

Meridian scored on their second possession of the game on a 20 yard run by Kexavius Burton with 1:28 left in the first quarter. The home-standing Wildcats tried a two-point conversion from a swinging gate formation, but the Maroon Tide stopped the attempt.

Picayune got their first score on a 71 yard run by sophomore Dante Dowdell with 5:53 to go in the second quarter. Freshman Morgan Craft kicked the point after for a 7-6 lead.

On Meridian’s next possession, Isacc Hickman sacked Meridian quarterback Mark Smith in the end zone for a safety.

Picayune closed out the first half scoring with 5 yard touchdown run by senior Austin Samples with :33 left in the second quarter and Craft split the uprights with the point after to give the Maroon Tide a 16-6 lead.

Meridian recovered a Picayune fumble at the Maroon Tide 30 yard line on Picayune’s first possession of the third quarter. The Wildcats would cash in on the opportunity when Daniel Hill score on a 2 yard run with 7:47 left in the quarter. Meridian once again went for the two-point conversion, but Maroon Tide held leaving the score at 16-12.

Samples (pictured) would extend the lead for the Maroon Tide when he slashed his way through the Wildcats defense for a 33 yard touchdown run with 2:22 left to play in the third quarter. Craft stayed perfect on his extra points and Picayune led 23-12.

Meridian’s Jonathan Vaughn returned the ensuing kick off 81 yards for a touchdown and this time the Wildcats were successful on the two point conversion to make it 23-20 with 2:08 left in the third quarter.

When Picayune got the ball back on the ensuing kickoff, the Maroon Tide put together a 6 play 57 yard drive with senior quarterback Isaac Hickman scoring on a keeper from 3 yards out with 11:28 left in the game. Craft was again accurate with his extra point to make it 30-20.

Stogner was pleased with the win, but quickly pointed out the need for improvement.

“This was probably the sloppiest game of Maroon Tide football I’ve ever been a part of. I’m happy we won, but Meridian outplayed us. We have to work on a lot of things to be ready for Gulfport next week,” Stogner stated.

Samples finished with 155 yards on 16 carries and Dowdell tallied 117 on 8 carries. Junior fullback Peyton Waddell ran 9 times for 80 yards for Picayune (1-0).

Picayune hosts the Gulfport Admirals on Friday at Lee-Triplett Stadium.


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