Picayune Power: Maroon Tide revenge served cold with 40-21 win over West Point in 5A state title game, ice bath even colder

Two years after losing out on the undefeated dream season at the hands of West Point, Picayune exorcised a lot of demons in its 40-21 win on the same field that caused the Maroon Tide so much anguish the first time they played West Point in the 5A State Championship game. But this time, the medals gold – not silver.

“It ain’t silver, said Picayune senior right tackle/defensive tackle Isaiah Evans. “This one ain’t silver this time. It’s gold.”

And how fitting, former head coach Dodd Lee standing right next to second-year head man Cody Stogner, as they both got that sweet, sweet taste of victory – and Gatorade – together.

“It feels great, baby,” said Picayune senior quarterback Dawson Underwood. “We’re number one! Let’s go! We’ve been doubted all year, and we just proved we’re the best out here, baby. Let’s go!”

“Feels good! Feels good, man! This is our first year,” said Picayune sophomore middle linebacker Amarion Tyson. “We’re both sophomores. Sophomores, starting sophomores. Everybody else doubted us. But we showed them that we’re here. We’ve got it in us. Let’s go! Yes sir!”

“It feels great, man,” said Picayune senior tight end Justin Martz. “Words can’t even express how I feel. We worked so hard beginning of January, and it really paid off. I’m so proud of us, dude. Words can’t explain it. I’m so happy!”

“Man, I just want to say, thank the Lord for the position that we came in,” said Picayune senior defensive tackle Dakeyvion Jones. “I just want to say I love my family out here.”

“Feels amazing, blessed,” said Picayune sophomore running back Chris Davis. “Put in all this hard work with these guys. Love them to death, man. Got to keep it going.”

“Man, it just feels great,” said Evans. “This is the best night I’ve had in my high school career, man. Best night. This feels a lot better than 2019 and it feels good to get revenge.”

“I’ve been wanting to do this since two years ago,” said Picayune junior running back Dante Dowdell. “Since that loss, I told you we were getting revenge, and we did.”

“This coaching staff has done a great job,” said Lee. “I’m just so proud of them. Kids played so hard. They just played the way Picayune plays. They got after it. I don’t know. I’m at a loss for words.”

“He started this thing,” said Stogner. “He started this thing 26 years ago. And we kind of took it on and made it our own thing and threw in a few wrinkles, and he’s a big mentor for all of us on the coaching staff, even the players still here in this town. He knows everybody here in this town. So he may not say it, but he’s still a big part of it.”

“What else is there better to say? I mean it’s a great feeling. This is what you work hard all year for and this is what you preach, and we’re taking that gold ball home so now it’s our job to keep it there.”

Dowdell – the 5A State Championship game MVP – rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, alongside two touchdowns from Davis and another one from Picayune junior full back Darnell Smith. As if winning the program’s third gold ball in the last 11 years wasn’t already exciting enough, all five of the offensive touchdowns are coming back in the same backfield next year for the 2022 Picayune Maroon Tide.

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