10/14/05

Picayune at Long Beach

Carey Meitzler

Last week's game against Pass Christian had a weird feeling before and during the homecoming game.  While talking to Pass

Christian head coach Kelly Causey, it was evident that he and his team had been through a lot and have a lot ahead of them.  He

told me of things they've dealt with as a team, as individuals, and as a community.  Causey said so many people have been so nice

to them in trying to help them start and continue their football season.  Causey hoped that someday he could return the favors and

help someone else.  For now, they need our help. It's hard not to pull for them.  They gave a great effort against the Maroon Tide,

but in the end our guys got it done.  A special thanks to all of those who contributed to the collection that was presented to the Pass

Christian football program after the game.

Courtney McDougle had a night to remember scoring on 3 of 4 rushing attempts for 153 yards. After a somewhat lethargic start,

the Tide defense came to life and keep the Pirates at bay.  Brent "Dent" Acker, Levi Slaydon, Zach "Sack" Robbins, Derrick

"Big D" Bullock, Erich Bochman "Turner Overdrive" (okay the band had an "a" instead of an "o") and a host of others turned in

a solid effort. They'll need to turn it up a notch this week when the Maroon Tide travels to take on a very good Long Beach team.

On Monday prior to the JV game against Long Beach, I had a chance to visit with a really special friend of mine from college.

Mark Ross, an assistant football coach and head baseball coach at Long Beach, is a great guy.  He was telling what it has been

like down there since Katrina.  Mark said they are just lucky to be playing.  His baseball field, much like Picayune's field, took on

heavy damage.  But Mark was quick to point out how fortunate he and other are compared to others.  It's always good to see

Mark.  As usual, we both said we need to find time to get together more before it's too late for either one of us. I hope we can. 

As for the game, some of my friends at Pearl River Central (Vance Herrin & Gary Russ) told me that Long Beach will almost

look like a carbon copy of the Maroon Tide.  Besides wearing Maroon and White colors (with a touch of silver versus our gray),

they like to run the football.  Last week, they put a whipping on PRC without their leading running back Tramaine Brock (#1) who

missed the game due to disciplinary reasons.  They insert Ira Smith (#32) and their offense never missed a beat.  They like to run

the wingback reverse as well.  I think they said the Bearcats only threw two passes the entire game.  I think they will have a hard

time running on our defense, so the pass count may have to go up for them to win, or a plethora (one of Jason's words he has

taught me over the years) of trick plays from the Bearcats offense could be in order.

Defensively, I was told the nose guard (#76 they said) is a good one.  He's big, quick, and seemed to be around the football on

every play.  Sounds like Picayune will have their hands full with this fellow.  I feel like our guys will be ready for this one after

coming out a little flat during the early parts of the Pass Christian game.   The weather looks like it will once again be football

weather.  If you can make the trip, I hope you enjoy the game, and if you can't, we'll do our best to make you feel like you are

there.  God Bless You and let's all remember to keep those who have and are still dealing with the aftermath of this hurricane

season.  Roll Tide.

Jason Pigott

After consecutive wins against division opponents (PRC, Pass Christian), the Tide will travel to Long Beach (3-1) Friday to face

the Bearcats in what should be a dandy. After playing well on the road the week before verses rival PRC, the Tide fell flat in the

1st half last week against Pass Christian (1-3).

 

Thanks to a pair of 47-yard TD runs by Courtney McDougle, Picayune led 14-9 at the half.  However, the Tide was outplayed

in front of the homecoming crowd in Picayune by the gritty, but undermanned Pirates.

 

The Tide defense was dominant although it did surrender a big play for a TD on a 4th and 1 situation in the 2nd quarter.  The

Tide stop unit is getting better each week and in my opinion has all the makings of being championship caliber by season's end.

The offense is still a work in progress. Lately big plays have resulted in points, but we have yet to witness one of those patented

16 play 80-yard defense demoralizing drives we have grown accustomed to in previous years.  Dead ball penalties and turnovers

(avg. 3 per game) have plagued the Tide from week one and continue to be a problem.

 

The Tide offense showed it's potential in it's first possession of the 2nd half last week by going 65 yards in 10 plays ending with

a 1-yard TD run by Justin Berry in what would be their only real sustained drive of the game. Take away two of the three long

TD runs by Courtney McDougle and the 28-9 final score is much too close for comfort.

 

Long Beach comes in as winners of consecutive division games as well and is full of confidence.  Led by senior RB, Tramaine

Brock (11 TD 8/11 for 25+yds.), the Bearcats are averaging 29 points per game on offense. Their only loss was a 21-19

setback to still unbeaten Bay High (3-0).  Brock (5-10, 170) will be in a bad mood after being held out of the game last week

at PRC and will be a force to stop in front of the home crowd.

 

The outcome of Friday's game will be an indicator of how this Maroon Tide team has progressed since the beginning of the

season.  Win or lose, the playoffs are more than likely in the future for each team, but each would like to continue to build on their

momentum heading down the stretch with a win.

 

Without the sense of urgency in the air, I think the home team loses the edge in this one, and the better defense prevails.

My Take: Picayune 20   Long Beach 18