Hornets lose by two points to Greene County

Published 7:10 pm Monday, November 2, 2009

Editor, The Poplarville Democrat

POPLARVILLE — Hornet Head Coach Chris Teal hoped his 14 seniors could have ended their last final season with a win but visiting Greene County managed to say otherwise with a close 14-16 win.

“They are all players … great leaders,” Teal said after the game of his seniors. “A great example . . . they get beat on Friday and they come back on Monday ready to go again.”

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The difference in the score were the two 2-point conversions tacked on the end of both Greene County touchdowns.

The first Greene County scoring drive began after the Hornets saw their opening attempt fizzle on the soggy field after gaining a first down on a 12-yard run by Gabriel Rhodes (13 for 53 rushing yards).

Greene got the ball on the Hornet 44 and three carries by their quarterback Mitchell Brown found the ball at the Hornet 25. On the second play from scrimmage after a five yard penalty Brown handed off to running back George Parker who found a hole in the Hornet defense and the 30-yard score.

A big 15-yard penalty on the Hornets in their next possession helped stall their next drive and Greene County took over on their 46. Two ten yard penalties stalled the Greene County effort and Poplarville got the ball on their 39 for their third possession.

Penalties hampered both teams throughout the game — Poplarville had nine penalties for 110 yards and Greene County had 13 for 135 yards — probably increased by the extremely wet field conditions from an afternoon of rain that only eased just prior to the opening kickoff.

The Hornet third possession stalled on fourth down after getting into Greene County territory at the 32 but Greene was then forced to punt, giving Poplarville excellent field position at the Greene County 32.

From their Hornet quarterback Eli Frierson found Garrett Deschamp for 21 yards to the 11-yard line. On second down Gabriel Rhodes took the pigskin over the goal line at the 6:26 mark of the second quarter. Stephen Harris kicked the point after to put the score at 7-8.

From that point both teams were unable to score through the end of the first half.

The third quarter also went scoreless even though both teams mounted sustained drives only to see them fall short of paydirt.

Greene County opened the second half with a drive at their 20. Quarterback Mitchell Brown carried seven times in the drive for 17 yards and running back Kenja Bolton caught two passes for 10 yards. Hornet penalties added 25 yards to the Greene County effort but the drive stalled on fourth down at the Hornet 20.

Poplarville managed a four first-down drive which also started from their own 20. Tyler Holston carried five times in the drive for 30 yards; Rhodes had three carries for 17 yards. The drive was cut short when a fourth down pass attempt by Frierson was intercepted at the Greene County 18 with about one minute left in the third quarter.

Greene County thought they padded their slim one point lead when Brown handed off to Parker who found the goal line from the Hornet 37 only to see the attempt nullified by a holding call. The drive then stalled.

Poplarville managed to get the ball to the Greene County 21 before a fourth down sack of Frierson ended their scoring attempt.

Greene County’s final score came at the 3:17 mark of the fourth quarter on a seven yard run by Parker. The score was set up on the previous play when Marko Franks found a hole on the right side for 43 yards to the seven yard line. The two-point conversion carry by Brown was good with 3:03 remaining in the game for a 7-16 score.

The Hornets came back behind the passing arm of Frierson with completions to Rod Means, Childs and Deschamp. The score came from a 10-yard keeper by Frierson. Harris added his second point after for the 14-16 score with 1:23 left in the game.

Poplarville tried an on-side kick but Greene County recovered at their 49 and then ran out the clock to end the game.

The Hornets ended the game with 123 yards rushing and 85 passing for a total offense of 208 yards; Greene County had 193 rushing and 13 passing yards for 206 total offense.

Hornet rushers were Holston, seven for 55 yards; Rhodes, 13 for 53; Frierson, seven for 13; and Means 2 for 2. Receivers were Deschamp, three for 39; Childs, two for 30; Means, two for 11; Holston, one for 5; and Rhodes, one for 2.

Teal said the season won-loss record failed to show the quality of the team, and he kept returning to the seniors as examples of the overall team spirit, using Frierson on offense and Jonathan McNair on defense as examples.

Teal said “it was like having coaches on the field.”

“There was no selfishness . . . they (the 14 seniors) don’t worry about their numbers . . . they worry about their teammates.”

The Hornets have about 12 juniors and 28 sophomores to work with for the next season, Teal said.