Aggies avoid Hornets upset

Published 5:44 am Sunday, September 27, 2009


Editor, The Poplarville Democrat

POPLARVILLE — The Forrest County Aggies scored twice in the fourth quarter to keep the Poplarville Hornets winless in the division by a score of 21-31.

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“Played hard, played hard,…we up 21-18, quarter to go,” Hornet head coach Chris Teal said after the game. “We couldn’t hold them out of the end zone on those last two drives they had.”

“…I don’t know what to say; we’re a good football team. I’m proud of these kids, everything they’re being asked to do.”

Poplarville won the toss to receive the opening kickoff and were mounting a respectable drive sparked by a second down 14-yard gain by Tyler Holston (7 for 56 rushing and a 21-yard reception) to his own 44. On third down from the midfield stripe Hornet quarterback Eli Frierson found Dexter Childs (2 for 20) for a nine yard aerial to the Aggie 41.

Unfortunately for the Hornets on the next play a Frierson pass was picked off giving Forrest County the ball at their own 43.

From there Forrest County ground out 37 yards in nine plays to the Hornet 20 where Aggies quarterback Riley Brown found E. J. Pearson for a 20-yard pass play and the game’s first score. The point after attempt by Chris Fiveashe was wide but the Aggies led 6-0 at 3:53 in the first quarter.

The next Hornet series failed after one first down, forcing a punt but Poplarville got a break on the return when Hornet Cody Smith tackled Aggie running back Isaiah Jackson at the his own three.

Two downs later Poplarville got its own interception when Jonathan McNair picked off Aggies quarterback Riley Brown at the three.

Two plays later at the beginning of the second quarter Frierson handed off to Rod Means (4 for 7 yards) who found a hole on the left side for five yards and the score. Stephen Harris’ PAT was good and the Hornets led 7-6.

Unfortunately for the Hornets the momentum turned and the Aggies rolled up two scores in approximately three minutes to jump out to a 6-18 lead.

Poplarville was unable to move the ball on their next series, partly because of a 10-yard holding call (the Hornets were penalized 35 yards in the quarter). The Aggies took the ball and moved from their own five to the Hornet 49 where Brown hooked up with Jackson through the air for a 50-yard completion and the score. The point after try again failed but Forrest County was ahead 7-12.

The Hornets luck continued bad when the Aggies had a successful onside kick and got the ball at Poplarville’s 38. On the next play Jackson found open field to the Poplarville one.

The Hornet defense stiffened, pushing the Aggies back to the nine but two plays later Jackson again found the goal line to up the ante to 7-18. The point after try was no good.

The Hornets were unable to move the ball and the Aggies attempted to add another score before the half but Nick Peters picked off the second Hornet interception on the night to end the first half.

Poplarville roared back in the third quarter to take a 21-18 lead by the end of the quarter.

The Hornets first score in the third came after McNair recovered an Aggie fumble at their 42. Poplarville’s Tyler Holston and Gabriel Rhodes (13 for 51 rushing) picked up yardage down to the Aggie 23. Frierson then passed to Holston for a completion to the three. From there Rhodes plunged over to close the gap at 14-18.

The Hornet defense took over and smothered the Aggie offense that saw Kennall Lee sack Brown for a loss. On the ensuing punt Neeko Lockhart returned the ball to his own 28.

Poplarville then mounted another sustained drive featuring a 38-yard scamper by Nick Peters (2 for 52) to the Aggie six. In two carries Means then found the goal an the Hornets took a 21-18 edge after Harris added the PAT with 2:45 left in the third.

That would be the last scoring for the Hornets as the Aggies added their fourth TD on the strength of a Brown to Jackson aerial to the Poplarville 16. From there Chad Smith made 11 yards to the five and the Aggies Devon Culbreath made it in for the score. This time the point after was good by Fiveash for a 21-25 score with 10:34 remaining in the game.

Poplarville was forced to punt and Forrest County started their final scoring drive at the 7:44 mark on the clock. The 61-yard, six play drive was capped when the third Brown-Jackson tandem hooked up for a 25-yard scoring completion. The PAT failed to end the scoring at 21-31 with 4:04 on the clock.

On the night the Hornets had 184 rushing yards and 49 passing for 233 yards offense to the Aggies 250 rushing and 144 passing for a total offense of 394. Poplarville lost one fumble while Forrest County had four and lost two.

Poplarville managed to moved the ball to the Forrest County 35 when Forrest County’s Nike Jones intercepted Frierson at his own 10. From there the Aggies were able to run out the clock.

Teal said the pressure was going to have to go up for the rest of the season and indicated some players would see action on both sides of the ball.

“We’re to the point now where we have to win out,” Teal said. “And, I think we can do that. When it does turn our way they’re going to be hard to stop.”

The Hornets play next week at Purvis.