Panthers host Picayune

Published 6:49 pm Thursday, October 14, 2010

On paper, the Picayune Maroon Tide looks like an awesomefootball factory. Picayune is unbeaten in six games and stands 3-0in Region 3-5A action. However, Picayune boss Dodd Lee has adifferent opinion about his No. 2-ranked squad entering Fridaynight’s road game at Brookhaven.

Kickoff for the Region 3-5A showdown is 7 p.m. on King Field.

After watching his team hold off Stone County 49-34 last Friday atPicayune, Lee was disgruntled at best. “I am embarrassed. This isthe worst defensive game we have played since I’ve been here. I’mnot used to losing games in the second half and (Stone) whipped ourtails.”

Senior running back Jamal Hall was a bright spot for the Tide. Herushed for 262 yards and scored four touchdowns, helping Picayuneforge a 35-10 halftime lead.

“We’re not good on defense in any way, shape or form right now,”Lee added. “We don’t stop the run at all and we can’t coveranybody. And to be honest, we aren’t executing very well on offenseeither. We won; besides that I didn’t see anything good from thisgame.”

After a week of practice, Lee should have his team focused for thetask at hand. They are battling West Jones and Wayne County for theregion’s No. 1 rung.

By comparison, the Panthers (3-3, 1-2) need every region winpossible to remain in contention for either the third or fourthrung in the region race. The top four teams advance to the stateplayoffs next month.

Coach Tucker Peavey’s Panthers are fresh from a 34-0 region victoryat Pearl River Central in Carriere. They played well on offense anddefense.

Peavey praised the Tide. “Picayune is a very good football team.Offensively, they want to run at you. Their running back (Hall) hasgained over 1,500 yards. He’s a good one.”

Peavey said his defense faces an imposing challenge against thelargest offensive line they have faced. “They have a big, physicalline and they come right at you.”

Hall (5-7, 190, sr.) has scored 15 touchdowns this season. Workingat quarterback is Ben Hickman (5-10, 172, so.). Hickman averages66.3 yards passing per game.

“They will run, run, run and then slip somebody out on a passroute,” Peavey noted. Hickman’s favorite receivers are wideoutJavonte Wilson (5-10, 160, sr.), and tight end Malcolm Faciane(6-6, 260, sr.). Wilson has caught six passes for 154 yards.

“On defense, (Tide) have a lot of man coverage,” said Peavey. “Theyput a lot of pressure on you. They’ve had a few injuries but theyare back to early-season form.”

Linebacker Cody Smith (5-7, 180, jr.) leads the team with 62tackles. Linebacker Troy Egana (5-5, 157, jr.) has 52tackles.

Peavey said his Panthers are capable of pulling an upset. “We willhave to play a very good game to beat them. We have to go out anddo the things we are capable of doing.”

The Panthers sparkled on offense and defense against Pearl RiverCentral. Senior quarterback Duwone Harris directed the victory thatfeatured 433 yards total offense. He rushed 8 times for 55 yardsand completed 7 of 12 passes for 177 yards and 3 touchdowns. TrentPowell caught 3 passes for 105 yards, including TD catches of 15and 18 yards.

Sherrod Gray caught a 10-yard TD pass from Harris. TravoriusShowers rushed 30 yards and Justin Blue rambled 21 yards forfourth-quarter, BHS TDs. Showers had 13 rushes for 91 yards.

Devonte Stewart saw some duty at wide receiver. He has beensidelined by a shoulder injury since the West Jones game. Stewarthad replaced Harris at quarterback in the Clinton game.

“This is a region game that we need to win,” said Peavey. “Avictory would give us an advantage.”

Brook’s defense played well against PRC, allowing just 132 yardstotal offense, all on the ground. Linebacker Jacoby Cooper pacedthe Panthers with 9 solo tackles and 2 assists. End Jaboree Poolehad 7 tackles and 2 assists. Tackle Malcolm Stewart had 4 tackles,2 for a loss, plus 1 sack.