Stingy defense propels Tide past Poplarville 21-7
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Poplarville- Picayune’s defense set the tone early and continued it’s stingy mindset in the Maroon Tide’s 21-7 win over Poplarville in the season opener.
Picayune held the Hornets in check the entire first half forcing three punts and a fumble.
Meanwhile, Picayune’s offense looked in mid-season in the first half.
After forcing a Hornet punt on the first possession of the game, the Maroon Tide march 53 yards on 13 plays using 7 minutes and 17 seconds of clock to produce a 5 yard run by Donte Dowdell. Morgan Craft’s point after made it 7-0 with 2:34 left in the first quarter.
Picayune forced another Hornet punt and was on the move again before a miscue by the Maroon Tide on a fourth down pitch stopped the drive.
One play later, the defense got the ball back on a fumble recovery by Nathan Hickman.
Dowdell scored four plays later from 19 yards out and Craft’s extra point made it 14-0 with 5:05 to play in the first half.
Another punt from Poplarville, gave the Maroon Tide the ball on it’s on 11 with 1:33 left. On third down and eight to go for the first down, Chris Davis broke loose around right end for 46 yards to put the Maroon Tide at the Hornet 41 with just enough time for one play. That play was a perfectly thrown pass from Brady Robertson to Jessiah Contee for the touchdown as the horn sounded. Craft was once again true on the point after to make it 21-0.
Poplarville scored its touchdown on a 36 yard run by Maurice Travis with 11:09 left in the fourth quarter.
Picayune rushed 248 yards on 48 rushes. Dowdell had 131 yards on 27 yards and Davis added 99 yards on 10 carries. Robertson completed 3 of 4 passes for 69 yards.
Head Coach Cody Stogner was pleased with the play of his team.
“We came out and played well in the first half. We did some things in the second half that were uncharacteristic for us with jumping offside, fumbling the ball, and penalties, but I’ll take full responsibility for that,” Stogner stated.
In regards to the play of his defense, Stogner said, “They are just hungry. We have tons of experience over there (on that side of the ball) and they are good football players. We cramped up a little late in the game and we need to work on that.”
Picayune travels to play Jefferson Davis County on Friday.