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Hornets get first win

There were two big question marks surrounding the Poplarville Hornets football team this week at practice.

Could their defense hold the high octane offense of Stone High, a defense that had 56 points scored on them in two previous games against West Jones and Forrest County.

Also could they get their own offense rolling with the absence of fullback Justin Raine, who has been a catalyst in moving the ball down the field for the Hornets.

After 48 minutes of football Friday night against the Tomcats, both of those questions were definitely answered as the Hornets picked up their first win of the season 27-13.

The win moves Poplarville to 2-1 and drops Stone to 2-1 as well.

Stone County took the opening kickoff out to their own 42-yard line and one play later was up 7-0 after a 58-yard reverse pass down the right sideline that Fred Boggs scored on.

That wouldn’t last long however. Poplarville took their opening possession and marched 62-yards in eight plays capped off by back-to-back handoffs to fullback Adam Thomas who punched it in from 3-yards out to even the score at 7-7.

Stone County’s second possession was almost a mirror image of their first. On third down and seven they hit a quick out pattern and Breon Arrington scampered 68-yards down the left sideline.

In four plays and 1:34 of having the ball Stone County was able to rack up 116-yards of offense and two touchdowns. The Pat was blocked to give Stone a 13-7 lead.

That would be the last time however the Tomcats would light up their side of the scoreboard.

After those two big plays Stone County would only manage 57-yards of total offense for the rest of the game. Poplarville defensive coordinator Troy Davis did a good job mixing coverages to keep Stone off balance as they were not able to move the football.

“They (Stone) caught us off guard on their first play,” said Poplarville head coach Lance Mancuso, “but our guys continued to play hard for four quarters. I am very proud of our defense’s play tonight.”

One side of the scoreboard would remain at 13 as the other one continued to add up.

On their next possession Poplarville quarterback Matt Williams would hook up with tight end Pierre Raine for a 57-yard touchdown and the Hornets would never look back. After a missed PAT the score stood at 13-13 with 4:27 left in the first quarter.

After several possession changes of the football Poplarville would drive 48-yards in 5 plays capped off by a 20 yard TD scramble by Williams To make the score 20-13 with 4:42 left in the first half.

Poplarville would add on another touchdown in the second half when Junior fullback Adam Thomas rumbled 52 yards down the middle of the field to make the final score 27-13.

Thomas led all rushers on the night with 137-yards on 17 carries.

“Adam did a great job tonight stepping in at fullback. We tell our guys they are always one play away from the field. He is a hard worker and had himself ready to play tonight.” said Mancuso

Williams would finish 6-17 with one interception, one passing TD, and one rushing TD.

Poplarville opens up district play this Friday night when Long Beach will travel to Poplarville for the first the first game in the Hornets new Stadium which the Hornets will christen against the Bearcats.

Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30.