Sixteen was sweet for Picayune.
The defending Class 5A state champion and top-ranked Maroon Tide snuck past homestanding and arch-rival Pearl River Central 21-20 at Hendrix Stadium Friday night. The win was the 16th straight for Picayune over PRC in this Pearl River County rivalry of the schools that sit less than seven miles apart.
The Blue Devils pretty much dominated the game all night, but the Maroon Tide won the game on a 68-yard halfback pass from Preston Dedeaux to Daveon Greene with less than five minutes in the game.
The Picayune defense then made one final stand, and forced the PRC offense to turn the ball over on downs at mid-field with just two minutes to play to seal the win.
The win, before a standing room only crowd of close to 6,000, moves Picayune to 4-0 while fourth-ranked PRC falls to 3-1. Both teams suffered four turnovers in the contest..
"I am tremendously proud of the effort of our kids, the coaches and the school and the whole Blue Devil community," third year PRC head coach Eric Collins said. "In the end, as well as we played, we just made too many mistakes. We have to take care of the ball better."
The end of the game was marred by a chaotic melee, involving coaches, players and staff from both teams.
"They gave a great effort, they out-played us and they deserved to win," veteran Picayune head coach Dodd Lee said, of the Blue Devils. "We were lucky to win the game."
The Blue Devils dominated the first quarter, and took a 14-0 lead into the second stanza thanks to a pair of touchdowns by Desmond Michel.
The senior running back scored on a 3-yard run with three minutes left in the opening period, and then scampered 34 yards for a score with a second left before the second stanza. Jevon Detto's pair of point-after's made it 14-0 PRC.
But Picayune retaliated, scoring twice in the second quarter on a 4-yard run by Desmond Taylor as well as a 24-yard run by Greene. Jake Poldermann's pair of point-after's tied the game at 14-14 at intermission.
"They gave us some looks that we didn't expect," Lee added. “And he (Michel) was the best player on the field by far.”
The Blue Devils took the second half kickoff and moved straight down the field, and re-took the lead on a 22-yard scoring run by Michel.
"Coming in there were some things on their defense that we thought we could take advantage of," Collins added.
The Blue Devils, though, were flagged for illegal motion on the extra point try and after a five yard penalty, Picayune's Deandre McDonald broke through to block the PAT attempt.
It was one of 20 penalties committed by PRC on the night, while Picayune was flagged for six.
The Blue Devil defense kept the Maroon Tide at bay, until Picayune took over on its own 20 with 6:06 to play. Four plays later, Dedeaux took a hand-off from quarterback Ben Hickman, took two steps back, and hit a wide-open Greene who worked his way through a pair of Blue Devil defenders in the secondary en route to the tying score.
Poldermann's PAT won it for Picayune.
Michel ran for 171 yards and three scores, and also was a standout on defense at his end position for PRC.
Dedeaux picked up 127 yards on the ground against a PRC defense that seemed to have his number all night. Hickman had his best game of the year, completing 6-of-9 passes for 77 yards and one interception. He also fumbled the ball one time.
For Picayune, Jordan Dedeaux had an interception, and Jaylin Dees, Tony Washington and Chance Kellar had fumble recoveries for the Maroon Tide as well
For the Blue Devils, Christian Smith had a big interception, while Greg Shearburn, Brandon Padgett and Lane Fazende all had fumble recoveries as well.
The PRC defensive line, led by Michel and fellow end Fazende, as well as the interior play of Carlos Martinez, Trey Mistretta and Ryan Ploizi, dominated the veteran Maroon Tide offensive front for most of the game.
The game was the Region 4-5A opener for both teams. Picayune hosts Gautier in league play Friday, while PRC travels to Hurley for a match-up with East Central also in region action.
Sixteen was sweet for Picayune.
Season ends for Maroon Tide
The season came to an end for the Picayune baseball team Saturday afternoon with a 5-3 loss to homestanding Pascagoula here at Ingalls Field in the third and deciding game of the Class 5A South State championship series.
Tide stays alive
And it all comes down to this.
Picayune and Pascagoula will face off in a one game, winner take all
showdown today at 2 p.m., at Ingalls Field for the Class A South State
prep baseball championship and the right to play for the state title.
Wildcats tring to win Region 23 title
Host Pearl River opened Region 23 Tournament play in dominating fashion here Thursday in Wildcat Stadium, demolishing top-seeded East Central 12-1 in eight innings and now faces second-seeded LSU-Eunice (La.) in Friday’s second round at 7 p.m.
Panther pitcher shuts out Maroon Tide
Pascagoula’s Andrew Crane continued his dominance of Picayune Thursday night.
Season ends for Lady Hornets
Poplarville's season came to and end in the Class 4A South state finals Tuesday night.
The visiting Lady Hornets fell to Newton County 10-2 in game two of the best-of-three series.
Lady Hornets face Newton County
Two more wins, and Poplarville will be playing for the Class 4A state championship in fast-pitch softball.
The Lady Hornets have a chance at getting that first victory today.
Polderman’s, Mitchell win titles
The Picayune Maroon Tide and the Pearl River Central Blue Devils both competed in the Class 5A South State track and field championships this past Saturday at Long Beach High School.
Tide sweeps; Devils swept
Picayune finished the regular season nine games under the break even mark.
But, four games into the Class 5A South State playoffs. the Maroon Tide is unbeaten.
Lady Hornets beat North Pike
Poplarville is moving on to the Class 4A South State finals.
The Lady Hornets swept the best-of-three semifinal series with North Pike, completing the affair with a 2-0 road win Monday night.
Tide sweeps; Devils swept
Picayune swept Pearl to advance in the Class 5A South State prep baseball playoffs over the weekend while Pearl River Central got swept by Stone County.
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