It comes as no surprise that Picayune will be playing for a Class 5A South State title next week, but the Maroon Tide’s opponent is a complete shocker.
Picayune won 41-22 at Laurel Friday night to advance to the South State title contest. The Maroon Tide will now host West Jones, which pulled off one of the biggest postseason upsets in recent memory Friday night by beating previously undefeated Hattiesburg 37-14.
When you consider that West Jones lost 23-17 to the same Laurel squad on Oct. 12, Picayune appears to have a decent shot of advancing to its first state title game since winning the Class 5A trophy in 2013.
Picayune ran over Laurel Friday night, putting up 399 yards on the ground to control the contest from the outset.
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Kade Turnage got the scoring started for Picayune when he punched it in the end zone from 5 yards out with 5:19 left in the first quarter.
Picayune quarterback Jakail Myers answered a Laurel score with one of his own to regain the lead for the Maroon Tide 13-7 in the second quarter.
Turnage pushed it to 20-7 when he picked off a Laurel pass and scrambled 40 yards for a touchdown just before the break.
Another Picayune interception, this one by Juvonta Raymond on Laurel’s second possession of the second half, set up another Maroon Tide touchdown. Jortin Raine ran 44 yards on the next play and Myers got in the end zone two plays later to make it 27-7.
Turnage registered his third touchdown of the night, this one a run on offense, to put the game the rest in the fourth quarter at 34-14.
Raine capped off the scoring for Picayune with a 14-yard touchdown run in the fourth.
The win allowed Picayune to avenge a 42-35 loss to Laurel in the first round of the playoffs in 2017.
Laurel finishes with a record of 8-4 and Picayune improved to 10-3.
Sports601.com contributed to this report.