War Eagles flood Maroon Tide, 42-7
By Paul Keane
PICAYUNE — What was supposed to be a battle of titans turned in a one-side blowout in the second half as Wayne County rolled to a 42-7 victory over Picayune here Friday night in the second round of the Class 5A football playoffs.
The win improved the War Eagles to 11-2 overall and sets up a South State Championship showdown against Laurel on the road this coming Friday night.
Picayune, the defending Class 5A champs and winners of two of the last three state titles in 5A, finished its season at 10-2.
WCHS held the Maroon Tide’s potent rushing attack — one that averages 310 yards per game — to only 179 yards on 51 carries. The offense, meanwhile, needed only 42 offensive snaps to score 42 points and remain in the hunt for a state title.
“Defensively, it all started up front for us tonight,” said Head Coach Todd Mangum. “The guys up front did a great job tonight, and that is how we were able to control their running game.
“Offensively, our offensive line did what we needed them to do in order to move the ball and score some points. We played a complete game tonight.
“I am so proud and happy for our players, our fans and our coaches, especially our coaches. Now, we get a chance to play for a South State Championship again.”
The War Eagles held the Maroon Tide’s offense in check for all but one series, and that one required a 60-yard pass play to keep it alive. WCHS held on three fourth-down plays that gave the offense possession on downs.
“All three of those were huge,” Mangum said. “That gives us an additional possession each time, plus it stopped them. Those plays were big for our defense.”
After the defense held on the opening series, it only took the offense 1:02 before Freddy Jordan, Jr. raced in from 5 yards out. The Brandon McCary kick made it 7-0 with 6:33 left in the opening stanza.
The defense held on fourth-and-1, stopping PHS for no gain and giving the offense possession at the Maroon Tide 39. Five plays and 1:02 later, David Hodo hit Dashun Philon with a 16-yard pass, and the McCary kick opened up a 14-0 lead with 3:20 remaining in the quarter.
Neither squad could produce much in the second quarter, although Picayune did march down to the WCHS 14-yard line late in the period. Roy Arrington picked off a pass in the end zone and returned it out to the 10-yard line to end the threat.
By halftime, the War Eagles had only 15 offensive snaps while Picayune had 35, but it was the visiting team that was in control of things.
After Picayune’s defense held on the opening drive of the second half, the Maroon Tide marched 70 yards in five plays, with one being the 60-yard pass that was the only completion of the night for PHS, before scoring on a 1-yard run to trim the deficit down to 14-7 with 7:39 left in the period.
The War Eagles responded immediately, driving 64 yards in five plays before D.J. Cameron capped things off with a 31-yard run. The McCary kick made it 21-7 with 5:37 left in the period.
WCHS’s defense held on another fourth-down play, allowing the offense to take over at PHS 44-yard line. Seven plays later, Hodo hit Reggie Stewart with a 9-yard pass, and the McCary kick opened up a 28-7 lead with 37 ticks left on the third quarter clock.
After forcing a punt on the ensuing series, it took the offense only three plays before Chris Cooley scored on a 28-yard run. The McCary kick made it 35-7 with 8:56 left in the ballgame.
Again the defense held, allowing the offense to set up shop at its own 33-yard line. Eight plays later, Cooley scored from 6 yards out, and the McCary kick made it 42-7 with 2:46 left.
Jordan, Jr., led the offense with 185 yards as the War Eagles rolled up 303 yards on the ground and 52 through the airways. The defense was led by Jamal Powe’s 21 tackles as WCHS held the Maroon Tide to 179 yards on the ground and 60 passing.
WCHS 42, PICAYUNE 7
SCORE BY QUARTERS
WCHS 14 0 14 14 — 42
PHS 0 0 7 0 — 7
WCHS — 6:33, Freddy Jordan, Jr., 5-yard run. Brandon McCary kick.
WCHS — 3:20, Dashun Philon 16-yard pass from David Hodo. McCary kick.
PHS — 7:39, 1-yard run. Kick for extra point.
WCHS — 5:37, D.J. Cameron 31-yard run. McCary kick.
WCHS — 0:37, Reggie Stewart 9-yard pass from Hodo. McCary kick.
WCHS — 8:56, Chris Cooley 28-yard run. McCary kick.
WCHS — 2:46, Cooley 6-yard run. McCary kick.
FIRST DOWNS: WCHS 19, PHS 12
RUSHES-YARDS: WCHS 33-303, PHS 51-179
PASSES: WCHS 4-9-0, PHS 1-5-1
PASSING YARDS: WCHS 52, PHS 60
FUMBLES-LOST: WCHS 0-0, PHS 0-0
PUNTS-AVERAGE: WCHS 3-34.7, PHS 4-37.0
RETURN YARDS: WCHS 34, PHS 27
THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS: WCHS 3-of-7, PHS 6-of-14
FOURTH DOWN CONVERSIONS: WCHS 0-of-0, PHS 0-of-3
TIME OF POSSESSION: WCHS 17:41, PHS 30:19
Freddy Jordan, Jr., 22-185, D.J. Cooley 5-57, Chris Cooley 5-42, David Hodo 2-19.
David Hodo 4-9-0 52 yards.
Reggie Stewart 3-36, Dashun Philon 1-16.
Jamal Powe 21, Quindarius Bivens 12, Denzel Bonner 12, Tramond Lofton 10, Tyler Hopkins 10, Jacquan White 9, TyRee Evans 8, Benito Jones 7, Cadarius Pannell 4, Hunter James 3, Zach Powe 3, DeAndre Gandy 2, Javonta McCann 2, DeCarlos Walker 2, Roy Arrington 2, Kendrick Fuqua 1, Corey Polite 1, Clifton Jordan 1, Jamarius Hundley 1, Schadarius Chambers 1, Deon Smith 1.
TyRee Evans 1, Tramond Lofton 1.
Jacquan White 1, Benito Jones 1, TyRee Evans 1.
Roy Arrington 1.