Picayune brings powerful running game into 5A title matchup against West Point

By: 
DANNY P. SMITH
Daily Times Leader

Both coaches at West Point and Picayune expect a “smash-mouth” football game to determine the Class 5A State championship Saturday night.

The Green Wave and the Maroon Tide certainly have the running backs to make it that kind of outing.

Picayune head coach Dodd Lee said during the Mississippi High School Activities Association press conference on Monday that he expects it to be a two-hour game and could very well be over by 9 p.m. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. in Hattiesburg.

When Dodd and West Point head coach Chris Chambless talk about what it takes to be successful in the contest, they both say “try to get it to the fourth quarter with an opportunity to win.”

“That ball is not round and doesn’t always bounce the way you want it to,” Lee said. “(On Saturday) night, it might bounce our way.”

Actually the football has bounced the right way for the Maroon Tide every game this season as their 14-0 record indicates.

One of the bigger wins for Picayune this season has been 53-15 over Poplarville, which is playing for the Class 4A championship this weekend. The Maroon Tide defeated Brookhaven 49-10, Laurel 42-28 and West Jones 49-14 in the Class 5A playoffs.

“I’m just proud of the effort we’ve put in,” Dodd said. “About 365 days ago, we got beat in the South State championship. We got to work that next Tuesday and there has been a lot of sweat hit he floor and the kids have paid a great price.”

There is no secret what the Maroon Tide want to do on offense. That’s give the football to senior Cameron Thomas and let him run.

Thomas has 3,371 yards rushing on 270 carries and 46 touchdowns. He averages 12.5 yards rushing per carry and 240.8 yards per game.

Picayune also has Austin Samples and Kade Turnage, who have 649 and 576 yards on the ground respectively.

“They’ve got some great backs,” West Point linebacker Tyron Orr said. “We’re just going to have to practice hard and try to stop them.”

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