October 10, 2015
Picayune scores late to nip Hattiesburg 28-27
by Carey Meitzler
Hattiesburg--Picayune came into Hattiesburg's D.I. Patrick Stadium with something to prove to
those doubters who had written them off after the first three weeks of the season when a young,
injury riddled Maroon Tide lost three non-region games. On Friday, Picayune sent a strong
message to the rest of the region and state that they are still a factor in Class 5A football with
a heart-stopping 28-27 win over the homestanding Hattiesbug Tigers before an estimate crowd
After each team coughed up the football on their first possessions of the game, Hattiesburg was
forced to punt on their second possession and Picayune started at their own 28. The Maroon
Tide took 7 plays to go the 72 yards with junior Josh ''Little Train" Littles slicing his way in from
30 yards out with 6:21 left in the first quarter. Jackson Samples kicked the the extra point for
a 7-0 lead.
Hattiesburg wasted little time in responding when Fabian Franklin scored on a 26 yard run with
5:01 left. Santrelle Williams made the point after to tie the game at 7-7.
The Tigers then executed an onside kick and recovered at the Picayune 44. Two pass plays
move the ball to the 17, however, the Maroon Tide defense got the ball back holding Hattiesburg
on three consecutive incompletions from the 13.
Picayune moved the ball to the Tigers 38 on 14 plays, but had to punt the ball away and
Hattiesburg got it back at their 10. The Tigers converted three first downs, but had to punt the
ball away and Picayune took over at their own 7 with 5:55 left in the second quarter.
On first down, junior Blake Merrifield busted loose on a 48 yard run. Four plays later, Picayune
converted a fourth and 1 on a keeper by junior quarterback Skylar Bowman. Two plays later,
Bowman connected with sophomore V.J. Holt on a 33 yard catch and run for the touchdown
with 2:37 left. Samples point after was wide left and Picayune led 13-7.
Hattiesburg responded with a 9 play 73 yard drive scoring on a 13 yard pass from Julian
Conner to Jordon Murphy, but Williams' point after attempt bounced off the left upright to
keep the score at 13-13.
Senior Kevin Reed returned the second half kick off from his 12 to the Hattiesburg 45.
From their, Picayune ran the ball 5 times and scored on the last carry by David Baker
from 9 yards out with 10:25 showing on the clock. Samples point after made it 20-13.
Hattiesburg scored on the first play after the ensuing kick off on a 70 yard run from
Franklin. The Tigers went for the 2 point conversion and Franklin ran it in to give Hattiesburg
a 21-20 lead with 10:03 left in the third quarter.
Picayune had to punt the ball away on their following possession, but got the ball back
when senior Trey Winbrow intercepted a pass at the Hattiesburg 49. Picayune converted
a first down, but then had to give the ball back to the Tigers on a failed fourth down run at
the Hattiesburg 33. The Tide defense held serve and forced a punt and Picayune got the
ball back at their 7.
The Maroon Tide would move the ball deep into Tiger terriritory, but two holding penalites
and a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty eventually stalled the drive and Hattiesburg took
over at their 32. The Tigers scored four plays later on a 2 yard run by Connor with 6:53
left. Hattiesburg went for the 2 point conversion again, but the Maroon Tide defense
stopped the run and the score was 27-20.
After the Tiger's kick off, Picayune started their possession on their own 31. The Maroon
Tide marched the 69 yards on 17 plays including two fourth down conversions on passes
by Bowman. The first was a 21 yard completion to Baker putting the ball at the Tigers' 31.
The second went to Winbrow for 15 yards that put the ball at the Hattiesburg 11. Winbrow
setup Picayune with a first and goal at the Tiger 1 with a 5 yard run on third & 5 with :33 left.
After a Hattiesburg time out, Winbrow was stopped for no gain on first down and Picayune
lined up and spiked the ball to kill the clock with :19 left. Bowman took the snap and followed
blocks led by seniors Caleb Dorn & Jacob Namias, and sophomore Dylan Ramsay into the
end zone with :15 left. Head Coach Dodd Lee elected to go for the 2 point conversion and
before Picayune could run the play, Hattiesburg called another time out when Picayune came
to the line of scrimmage. After the time out, Bowman scored on a bootleg around right end
barely getting in as he dove and extended the ball across the goal line for a 28-27 lead.
Samples bounced the kick off down the field and Picayune's coverage team penned the
Tigers back at the 15 yard line. Hattiesburg attempted two passes, but both were
Baker finished with 119 yards on 18 carries. Littles, who did not play in the second half
due to an injury, had 16 rushes for 92 yards. Merrifield finished with 8 rushes for 72 yards.
Winbrow added 40 yards on 11 totes. V.J. Holt added 28 yards on 4 rushes.
Bowman completed 4 of 6 passes for 93 yards.
Picayune (4-3, 3-0) travels to Perkinston on Friday to play Stone County at Mississippi
Gulf Coast College's A.L. May Stadium.