December 3, 2011
Maroon Tide stings Starkville 38-21 to capture State title
by Carey Meitzler
Jackson--After Starkville scored 21 unanswered points to take a 21-17 lead, Picayune stormed back with 21 unanswered points
themselves to post a 38-21 win and captured the Class 5A State Championship before an estimated 8,500 at Mississippi
Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Picayune scored on the first play of the game Desmond Taylor's 65 yard touchdown run. Dalton O'Meara kicked the extra
point for a 7-0 lead with 11:44 on the clock.
Picayune added another touchdown on a 79 yard pass from Ben Hickman to Justin Mark with 1:48 left in the first quarter.
O'Meara's point after made it 14-0.
The Maroon Tide got the ball back when Doug Cross partially blocked a Starkville punt giving Picayune the ball at the Yellow
Jacket 37. Picayune moved the ball to the 6 yard line and got a 23 yard field goal from O'Meara making it 17-0 with 8:50
left in the second quarter.
Starkville on its next possession marching 56 yards in 6 plays with quarterback Gabe Myles running from 4 yards out with 7:06
left in the half. Justin Mark blocked the point after attempt and the score stood at 17-6.
The Yellow Jackets scored on the first possession of the second half with Myles scoring on a 56 yard run up the middle of
the field. Myles passed to Preston Baker for the 2pt conversion making it 17-14 with 11:03 left in the third quarter.
Picayune converted a first down when they got the ball after the Starkville kick off, but the Yellow Jackets would force a
punt 4 plays later and a good return put the ball at the Starkville 48. Myles engineered a 9 play 52 yard drive that resulted in
a 1 yard run by Myles with 4:16 left in the third quarter. Charlie Henderson kicked the point after to make the score 21-17.
The Maroon Tide mishandled the Starkville kick off and started at the Picayune 7. The Maroon Tide gained two first downs
and moved the ball to their 45. Facing fourth and two, Dereonte Magee got the first down by the length of the football.
Picayune faced another crucial down at the Yellow Jacket 47 and Hickman completed a 48 yard pass to Daveon Greene
who made an acrobatic catch at the 20 and rumbled to the 5 yard line before being pulled out of bounds at the 5 yard line.
Picayune scored two plays later on a run by Greene, but a holding call nullified the score and the penalty put the ball at thte 15.
Hickman connected with Justin Mark on a corner route for the touchdown and O'Meara's point after put Picayune back on
top for good with the score now 24-21 with 10:26 left in the game.
Picayune forced Starkville to punt the ball back to the Maroon Tide as the defense asserted themselves with a three and out.
The Maroon Tide started at their 22 and converted two first downs that moved the ball to the Picayune 48. Dedeaux got
loose for a 35 yard run the Starkville 17. On the next play, Dedeaux weaved his way through Starkville defense for the
touchdown with 5:03 left in the game. O'Meara' extra point was good making 31-21.
On Starkville's second play after the Tide kick off, Myles deep pass attempt was intercepted by the Maroon Tide's Ken
Breland at his 20 and he returned the ball to the Starkville 32 yard line.
Picayune would end the scoring on the seventh play of the drive on Greene's 15 yard run on a reverse wtih 2:05 left.
O'Meara's point after made the score 38-21.
Starkville moved the ball to the Picayune 6 yard line in the closing seconds, but the Maroon Tide defense would not allow
the Yellow Jackets any points as the clock ran out.
Picayune amassed 459 yards of total offense with 314 rushing yards on 63 carries. Magee had 133 yards on 25 carries.
Dedeaux finished with 88 yards on 12 rushes and Taylor had 75 yards on 13 carries. Hickman completed 4 of 8 passes
Myles had 165 yards on 23 rushes and completed 6 of 22 passes for 52 yards for 217 of Starkville's 275 total yards.