High School Sports

Long Beach pulls out 36-34 overtime victory over Picayune

JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD 
 Biloxi Long Beach defenders Kevin Wayne, left, and Mitchell McCaleb hit Biloxi running back Martel Turner during the first quarter of their Shrimp Bowl game at Milner Stadium in Gulfport on Aug. 21. Wayne recently became his school's career tackles leader.
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD Biloxi Long Beach defenders Kevin Wayne, left, and Mitchell McCaleb hit Biloxi running back Martel Turner during the first quarter of their Shrimp Bowl game at Milner Stadium in Gulfport on Aug. 21. Wayne recently became his school's career tackles leader. SUN HERALD

Long Beach upset Picayune 36-34 on Friday night.

The game was tied 28-28 at the end of regulation play and Long Beach got the ball first in overtime scoring and making a 2 point conversion.

Picayune answered with VJ Holt's 10-yard touchdown run, but fullback David Baker was stuffed at the 7-yard line on a 2-point-conversion attempt to give Long Beach (2-8, 1-4) their first Region 4-5A win.

Picayune falls to (5-4, 4-1) and second in the district behind Pearl River Central (8-1, 5-0)

The Tide's leading rusher and running back, junior Josh Littles did not play and junior quarterback Skylar Bowman did not play the second half due to an apparent leg injury.

Long Beach featured a strong passing game as junior quarterback Mitch McCaleb threw for five touchdowns. McCaleb had two prime targets -- senior wide receiver Trevor Terry and senior wide receiver Brock Byrd. Terry had a 51-yard reception with 3:31 in the first quarter to put the Bearcats on the board 6-0 early.

After Picayune got the ball back at their own 37, Bowman marched Picayune 63 yards down the field, capped off by a gutsy, 7-yard touchdown run by senior running back Trey Wimbrow with 20 seconds remaining in the first.

Bowman then led a drive from their own 44-yard line culminating in a 9-yard touchdown pass to junior fullback Blake Merrifield with 7:22 in the second quarter.

McCaleb linked up with Terry on a 69-yard bomb for his second receiving touchdown of the game with 2 left in the second quarter and cutting the Picayune lead to 14-12.

Senior cornerback Kevin Reed came up big defensively for the Tide when he stripped Terry of the football. Sophomore free safety V.J. Holt recovered the ball on Picayune's 9-yard line. In for the injured Bowman, sophomore quarterback Tyler Penton came in and ended an 81-yard drive on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 2:39 in the third quarter. After a Holt interception, Baker ran the ball in for a 5-yard touchdown run putting the Tide up 28-12 with 9:20 left in the game.

Then Long Beach scored 16 unanswered points.

McCaleb hooked up with Byrd for a 17-yard touchdown at the 8:02 mark. On Picayune's next possession Wimbrow fumbled the ball on Long Beach's 33-yard line breathing life into the Bearcats. McCaleb hit Byrd on a 10-yard touchdown and targeted Terry for the 2-point-conversion, tying the game with 1:01 in the fourth quarter.

On their first possession in overtime, the Bearcats scored a touchdown on a 10-yard pass from McCaleb to Terry giving him three receiving touchdowns for the game. The Tide trailed 36-28 after McCaleb completed a pass to Byrd for the 2-point-conversion.

Picayune answered back but fell short and saw its five game winning streak snapped.

"The team that wanted it the most won. The team that probably had the best week of practice won. We didn't play our 'A'-game. And if we don't play our 'A'-game, I don't know a team that we can beat in the district," Maroon Tide coach Dodd Lee said. "We still have a chance to win the division. All we have to do is win out."

Picayune heads to Pascagoula (6-3, 4-1) next Friday.

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