Maroon Tide Skins 'Cats 37-7
by Carey Meitzler
The Picayune Maroon Tide came into their homecoming game against Long Beach with a slight chip on their shoulders due to
a comment made in last week's Sun Herald newspaper that questioned the Tide's ability to match up physically with the 'Cats.
When the first half ended, the Maroon Tide had displayed that they were more than up to the task as they built a 37-0 advantage
on their way to 37-7 win before an overflow crowd of 3,500 plus at Picayune Memorial Stadium.
Picayune's opening possession was not fruitful and they punted to Long Beach after three plays with the 'Cats at their own 30 yard
line. But the 'Cats couldn't move the ball due in large part to senior defensive tackle Steven Kellar who tackled Long Beach's
running backs for -2 and -4 yards on consecutive plays. After an incomplete pass on third down, Long Beach punted the ball
back to the Maroon Tide and Picayune took over at the 'Cat 38 yard line after a short punt.
Photo courtesy of Charles Gandy
Maroon Tide students show their spirit during the Tide's homecoming game.
Facing third down and 10 yards to go, senior Micah Hickman connected on a pass with senior Justin Griffith for a 17 yard gain
putting the ball at the Long Beach 22 yard line. After a offsides penalty against the 'Cats, Richard ran 16 yards to the one and
then plunged in from there for the touchdown. Irving Gonzalez booted the point after for a 7-0 lead with 6:25 left in the first period.
Long Beach's next possession started with another tackle for loss by Kellar and the 'Cats were forced to punt three plays later.
The snap sailed over punter Chris Pickering's head with ball eventually rolling out of the endzone for a safety and a 9-0 lead.
After the 'Cat free kick, Picayune fumbled the ball away at Long Beach 30 yard line.
However, Picayune got the ball back when senior linebacker Levi Slaydon forced a fumble and senior safety Courtney McDougle
pounced on the ball at the Long Beach 37 yard line. Hickman passed to Griffith on first down for 30 yards to 7 yard line and the
ball was moved half the distance to the goal due to a roughing the passer penalty on the play. Richard scored on the next play from
3 yards out and Gonzalez added the point after for a 16-0 lead with 3:16 to play in the first quarter.
Photo courtesy of John Young
Albert Richard (24) scoots past Long Beach's Clayton Skinner (12).
Steven Kellar again was unstoppable on defense as he recorded two more tackles for loss on the first two plays after the Tide
kickoff. Long Beach's third down pass was incomplete and they punted the ball back to the Tide with Picayune taking over at
the 'Cat 43 yard line.
Hickman passed to Griffith on first down for 19 yards, then Richard ran for 11, and senior fullback Dale Meitzler ran it to the
10 yard line. On the next play, Richard danced his way through the Long Beach defense for the touchdown. Gonzalez' point
after put the score at 23-0 with :23 left in the opening quarter.
Long Beach moved the ball to the Picayune 44 yard line on their next possession, but junior Thor Newbold knocked the ball
free and made the fumble recovery himself to halt the 'Cat drive.
On the third play of the Tide's next possession, Albert Richard electrified the home crowd with what appeared to be a 53 yard
touchdown run, but the officials ruled he stepped out at the Long Beach 14 yard line. On third down and three yards to go at
the 'Cat 7 yard line, Hickman passed to Meitzler in the left flats and he was pushed out at the 1 yard line setting up junior Drew
Cole's 1 yard touchdown run. The Gonzalez point after made it 30-0 with 5:45 left in the half.
Photo courtesy of John Young
Dale Meitzler (40) runs toward the goal line after catching a third down pass.
After the kickoff, Kellar and Slaydon made tackles on first and second down from the Long Beach 20 yard line that netted zero
yards. On third down, Justin Griffith intercepted Jeremy Hill's pass at the 'Cat 48 yard line.
After an incomplete pass on the Tide's first down play, Richard ran for 24 yards to the 24 yard line and then for 6 more yards
to the 18 yard line. Meitzler ran for 8 yards and Richard finished the drive with consecutive 5 yard runs resulting in a touchdown.
Gonzalez booted his fifth extra point of the night for a 37-0 lead with 1:16 left before halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter for both teams, Long Beach avoided the shutout with a 5 yard touchdown pass from Hill to
Stephen Dimitry with :41 left in the game. Pickering kicked the extra point to make the final score 37-7.
Richard finished with 160 yards on 19 carries with 4 touchdowns pushing his season total to 20. Meitzler ran for 26 yards on
rushes. Hickman completed 5 of 7 passing attempts for 87 yards.
Picayune's Maroon Platoon defense held Long Beach to 97 yards rushing and 17 passing for a game total of 114 yards.
Picayune (7-0, 4-0) will travel to play Bay High, while Long Beach (5-2, 2-2) has an open date before playing at Saint
Stanislaus on October 20th.
Kellye Bolar was crowned Homecoming Queen in the pre-game festivities.