Week 14 can be described as intense for Picayune, Poplarville and Resurrection. A win on Friday night would propel each team into the South State finals next week.
Coach Dodd Lee has his 11 and 1 Picayune Maroon Tide in position to roll into the 5A South State title game relying on a rushing attack that eats up time on the clock and puts points on the scoreboard.
The Maroon tide will have the home field advantage hosting Wayne County. The 7 and 5 War Eagles are coming off a 31-24 win over Pascagoula. Picayune sunk Wingfield 63-30 last week.
Junior running back Shaun Anderson has touched the football more often in recent weeks since fellow tailback Josh Littles hasn't been a hundred-percent due to an ankle injury. Anderson exploded for 212 yards in the dominating win over Wingfield. He now has 992 yards rushing with 8 touchdowns.
Littles leads Picayune with 2, 088 rushing yards in 11 games and 23 touchdowns. Junior running back David Baker has gotten hot in Littles absence. He had 112 yards rushing last week giving Baker 512 rushing yards on the season with 9 touchdowns.
Wayne County can also excel on the ground under coach Todd Mangum, the former Ocean Springs head coach. Chris Cooley, Zabryan Jackson and Schadarius Chambers have rushed for a combined 2,336 yards and 28 touchdowns.
The 4A South State semifinal game has Poplarville traveling to Mendendhall. The 10 and 1 Hornets have won 10 straight games and will face a Tigers team that upset two-time defending 4A South State champion St. Stanislaus 30 to 22 in overtime last week.
Hornets head coach Jay Beech runs a Wing-T offensive attack with two stellar running backs leading the way. Senior fullback Jesse Pernell has 1,374 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns. Junior tailback Austin Bolton has rushed for 1,331 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Mendenhall quarterback Quantavian Dampeer has passed for 963 yards with 10 touchdowns. Dampeer is quick on his feet, adding 368 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns.
The Poplarville defense must keep an eye on senior running back Deven Dampier. He's ripped off 1,124 yards rushing and 9 touchdowns. the 8 and 5 Tigers have won 3 of their last 4 games.
The Resurrection Eagles are trying to head back to the 1A State finals after losing in the title game in 2015. Head coach Scott Sisson has guided Resurrection to 10 wins in 12 games. The Eagles face a solid Nanih Waiya team on the road. They are 12 and 1, having won 12 consecutive games.
The Warriors feature Class 1A Mr. Football Chris Smith. The junior running back has rushed for 859 yards and 20 touchdowns. He's also a threat in the passing game, having snagged 18 passes for 409 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Junior running back Taemaus Glass leads the Nanih Waiya rushing attack with 1,335 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Resurrection will counter with running back Patrick Watts. The senior has powered his way for 1,461 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns. Junior quarterback Blake Porter has 1,170 passing yards and 12 touchdowns.
Patrick Roth is the Eagles top receiver having caught 27 passes for 426 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Tune-in to the Friday Night Football Showdown at 10:20 p.m. on WLOX ABC-CBS with A.J. Giardina and Tyler Bouldin.
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