Poplarville beats PRC

Published 11:37 pm Saturday, October 14, 2006

If Friday’s game against Pearl River Central was the last time Poplarville will ever play in Dobie Holden Stadium then the Hornets certainly bid farewell in fine fashion.

Poplarville celebrated Senior Night by ripping its Pearl River County rival 45-35, in a game that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate. The Hornets, who are slated to move into a new football stadium on its own campus by next season, moved to 6-2 overall and 4-0 in Division 8-4A play.

The win sets up a showdown with Picayune Friday that in all likelihood will decided the league champion. PRC fell to 2-6 overall and 0-4 in division play and was eliminated from playoff contention.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We set a goal to go out and win this one for our seniors and earn a playoff spot and we accomplished that,” second year PHS head coach Lance Mancuso said. “That was a real big factor for us this week, playing here for maybe the last time. This win is dedicated to all of the Poplarville players that had the privilege of playing in this stadium over the year. It’s for everyone who ever wore the green and gold.”

A win in either of the last two regular season games would assure Poplarville of hosting at least one state playoff game.

Ike Bowden set the tone early for Poplarville, ripping off a 56-yard scoring run on the second play of the game.

“I’m disappointed. I thought we would play better than we did,” first year PRC head coach Jeremy Weir said. “I realize we are real young, but this deep into the season we should be growing up more. We can’t keep using youth as an excuse. There were times when we just couldn’t stop them.”

After Bowden’s opening run, Jarod Antoine added a 14-yard touchdown run with 1:27 to play in the opening quarter.

The Blue Devils showed some life in the second quarter, though, capitalizing on a pair of Hornet Turnovers to take a 14-13 lead.

After Blue Devil J.R. smith picked off an interception, Ricky Chisum scored on a 6-yard run to make it 13-7.

PRC’s Daniel Hayden then fell on a Poplarville fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, and several plays later Ram Miller scored on a 4-yard run to put PRC ahead 14-13 with five minutes to play before halftime.

“We got ahead and relaxed a little bit and they took advantage of some mistakes,” Mancuso added.

The turning point of the game, though, came on the next Poplarville possession as the Hornets took the and moved steadily into scoring possession. Bowden capped the drive with a 10-yard scoring run with 31 seconds to go in the half, and Poplarville never trailed again.

“I thought that swung the momentum back to us,” Mancuso said. “And I was proud of the way we came out in the second half and put them away.”

Poplarville scored 24 unanswered points over the first 16 minutes of the second half to seal the win.

Matt Williams hit Tyler Breland on a 32-yard scoring pass on the opening drive of the third quarter, and before the quarter ended Scott Watson scored on a 3-yard run.

The second Touchdown was set up by an interception by Chansler Houston, which was deflected by Joel Bilbo.

Two quick touchdowns to begin the fourth period put the game out of reach. a Bilbo interception set up a 32-yard touchdown scamper by Watson, and then Ira White scooped up a PRC fumbled and rumbled 25-yards for a score.

The Blue Devils continued to fight, and scored three touchdown before the game ended.

Blake Herrin threw a pair of touchdown passes, one from 17-yards out to Cody Ladner and another from 6-yards to Warren House while Miller added a 56-yard scoring run as well.

“We knew they were good coming in, and they are,” Weir added. “We’re better than this, and we’ve got to start playing better.”

The Blue Devils host Pass Christian Friday, but most of the eyes of football fans in Pearl River County will be focused on Picayune.

“We don’t just want to show up, we’re going there to compete,” Mancuso said, of the showdown with the Maroon Tide. “Picayune has a lot of tradition and a great team and we have a tremendous amount of respect for them.”