PRC nips Poplarville

Published 12:21 am Monday, October 13, 2008

Bu Butch Weir

Editor, The Poplarville Democrat

POPLARVILLE — It was Poplarville’s Homecoming but visiting Pearl River Central did most of the celebrating Friday night.

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The 14-12 win was the first for the Blue Devils this season and broke a 14-game losing streak for Coach Jeremy Weir and the Devils. It also helped ease the Carriere team’s losing 11 players to suspension following a brawl near the end of last week’s Bay High contest.

“We felt like we had something to prove as far as that fighting stuff and that unfortunate stuff that happened last week; That’s not us,” said Weir in post-game comments.

“We preached all week about coming out and playing a game we could be proud of because that stuff that happened last week we’re embarrassed about, and I think they did it. They played hard and I’m proud of ‘em.”

Following the coin toss Poplarville elected to kickoff to the Blue Devils but Carriere only managed one first down before the drive sputtered at midfield. The Devils got a break though when a Hornet player inadvertently touched the ball on the fourth down punt and Colby Dillard recovered for PRC at the Hornet 21.

On second down Lance Powers gained 12 yards and a first down to the Poplarville nine. After two abortive pass attempts, PRC quarterback Tyler Lee handed off to Powers who found an eight yard hole up the right center for the game’s first score at 6:16 in the first. Brady Jordan kicked the point after to put the Devils up 0-7.

The Hornets started a sustained drive from their own 33 and moved down the field behind the running of Adam Thomas with a 13-yard gain and Ira White (12 for 58 yards), including a 7-yard carry on fourth down that kept the drive going.

The Hornets stalled though at the 33 after a holding penalty and incomplete pass and the ball went over on downs.

Poplarville got a breath of life when linebacker Eli Frierson recovered a Blue Devil fumble two plays later at the Carriere 25. The Hornets were again unable to move the ball and PRC took over on downs at their own 19.

A roughing the punter call against the Hornets kept the Blue Devils alive but after three first downs they were forced to punt the ball away at midfield. Poplarville’s woes continued on their next series when Ben Lee intercepted Dakota Sheppard and ran the ball in for the final Carriere TD just before the half. Jordan’s PAT was good and the half-time score stood at 0-14.

Poplarville shook off the first half and got the ball to midfield and a first down with a run by White. Nick Peters then took a Sheppard hand-off down to the Blue Devil 27. After two more positive yardage plays Ben Fayard (4 for 63) found a hole up the middle right for fourteen yards and the first Poplarville score at 6:40 in the third quarter. The point after try was no good on a bad snap and the score stood at 6-14.

Pearl River Central then put together four first downs behind the running of Lee, Jake Smith and Phillip Geraci. The drive stalled and on fourth down a field goal attempt by Jordan was wide right.

Poplarville then got good field position at their 34 on the ensuing return by White near the end of the third stanza. At the start of the fourth quarter Sheppard handed the ball off to Fayard at the Blue Devil 47 and he threaded his way to the goal line to edge the Hornets closer at 12-14 with 11:45 left in the game. The two-point conversion try failed though as Sheppard was downed attempting to go around right.

The fourth quarter wound down as neither team was able to mount any sustained offense. Poplarville got the ball for the last time with 4:47 left but despite two first downs saw the game end near the midfield stripe.

Statistic-wise Poplarville came out on top, gaining nine first downs with 187 rushing yards and 59 passing yards for 246 total offense.

Next week the Hornets travel to Vancleave for a 7 p.m. kickoff.