Game of the Week: West Jones at Picayune

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 12:45 AM CST
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PICAYUNE, Miss. (WDAM) -The two most recent 5A state champions square off with a trip to South State on the line as West Jones travels to Picayune.

“We’ve been in the playoffs the last five years and we’ve matched up with them four out of the five so in order for you to get where you want to go, that’s a team you’ve got to find a way to beat,” West Jones head coach Scott Pierson said.

The potent Picayune offense is averaging nearly 39 points a game headlined by Mr. Football and four-star running back Dante Dowdell.

“Well, they’ve got a D1 running back. He runs heavy. We can’t let him fall for three yards every play or they’re going to score every drive,” West Jones defensive end Mason Jenkins said.

“That’s a guy going to Oregon and there’s a reason why he’s going to Oregon, so we’ve got to bring something to the table when we go to wrap up to tackle him,” Pierson said.

West Jones might prove to be a matchup nightmare for the Maroon Tide run game with the Mustangs boasting a stout defense.

“I mean our front seven is our strength so it’s strength against strength which gives us a good chance,” the Mustang head coach said.

“I think we have the most physical defense probably in the state of Mississippi so they gon’ get it,” Jenkins said.

The West Jones offense will look to establish some rhythm early against a Picayune defense that can hold its own. In fact, the Maroon Tide has only allowed three opponents to score in the double digits all season.

“They’re not shy about going for it on fourth down because if they know if they don’t go, they can roll their 11 out there on defense and get a stop,” Pierson said. “I think that’s the biggest difference between Picayune teams in the past and Picayune teams now is defensively they’re a much better team.”

“Offensively, we’re going to have to throw the ball well. They’ve got a good defense. We’re just going to have to come out positive,” Jenkins said.

These challenges are nothing new for the Mustangs because they’ve been here before.

“The beauty of this is and coaching here, I don’t have to tell them anything,” Pierson said. They know what’s expected. They know what’s before them, so really it’s about preparing them to play on Friday night but getting them up and the ‘rah-rah’ speeches, I don’t have to do any of that.”

Kickoff is Friday at 7 pm at Picayune High School.

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