Picayune needed only 15 minutes to end the suspense in its contest against Gulfport on Friday night at Milner Stadium.
Running back Shaun Anderson rushed for 163 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Maroon Tide prevailed 37-7.
The Maroon Tide (3-1) won their third straight since falling to Poplarville in the season opener last month. Gulfport (1-3) has dropped three straight since 27-7 win over George County in the Port City Classic.
“I had great blocking from the offensive line and our coaches called great plays at the right time,” Anderson said.
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The Maroon Tide took a 6-0 first quarter lead on Anderson’s six-yard TD run. Picayune converted a Gulfport fumble into a short six-yard scoring drive.
Picayune scored 17 second quarter points to grab a 23-0 halftime lead. Both Maroon Tide touchdowns came courtesy of Gulfport miscues.
Anderson’s 32 yard TD run, Jairice Travis’ 17-yard run and Sami Naji’s 25-yard field goal accounted for the Maroon Tide’s scoring in the second quarter.
The Maroon Tide opened the second half with 6:00 minute, 10 play 76 yard scoring drive capped by Anderson’s one-yard TD run.
Tyler Penton’s 22 yard TD pass to V.J. Holt with 7:49 ended the Maroon Tide’s scoring. Picayune played its reserves the rest of the contest.
Gulfport avoided a shutout on Dawson Malley’s seven yard touchdown pass to Jalen Knight with 13 seconds left.
Collen Penton and Brian Taylor recovered a fumble, Ronald Polk’s interception led the Maroon Tide’s defense.
“Coming into the game, I was worried about blocking their front three,” Picayune coach Dodd Lee said. “We did some good things at times. Sometimes, we didn’t do good things. We can still get better.”