Hornets fall to Vancleave

Published 2:43 am Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vancleave’s Colin Bray has scored touchdowns in a variety of ways already this season.

On Friday night, he continued his impressive early season play ensuring that his Bulldogs would remain unbeaten and that visiting Poplarville would stay winless as well.

Bray thew for one score and ran for another as the homestanding Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead and held on for a 24-14 win over a scrappy bunch of Hornets.

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The win pushes Vancleave to 3-0 and drops Poplarville to 0-4.

“We’re happy to be 3-0,” Vancleave head coach Jim Bloomfield said. “It was a win, but it wasn’t pretty.”

Bray completed an 83-yard scoring drive with a 49-yard quarterback keeper in the first quarter. Conner Master’s PAT made it 7-0 lead.

The Bulldogs were right back in the scoring column on their next possession, with a 54-yard drive that ended with 3:04 left in the first quarter when Bray hit Brandon Smith with a 40-yard scoring pass. Masters kicked the extra point for a 14-0 Vancleave lead.

Poplarville would fight back, though, as Hornet quarterback Drake Hodges guided his troops on a five play, 72-yard scoring march that ended with his 26-yard scoring strike to Jarrell Aaron. Ethan Pachal’s extra point cut the early deficit in half, at 14-7, at halftime. The big play in the drive was a 49 yard run by Neeko Lockhart.

As has been the unfortunate trend so far this season for the Hornets, turnovers hindered any chance Poplarville had for an upset. Head coach Chris Teal’s crew had five turnovers on the night.

“The first half, we went in 14-7,” Teal said. “I told them in the locker room that we’ve got to be prepared the second half. Vancleave is going to come out and give us the best they’ve got.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t secure the ball on punt returns. Their biggest play was punting the football. We muffed three punts the second half, and we gave the ball back. We can’t do that. We are a young football team, and we’ve got to be perfect.”

The Bulldogs opened the second half of play just like they did the first half, as they marched 75 yards for a score. Jacob Glynn scored on a 10-yard run that made it 21-7.

Masters booted a 22 yard field goal early in the fourth period to make it 24-7.

Poplarville ended the scoring when Neeko Lockhart scored on a 35 yard run with 2:46 to play.

“We had a little let down,” Bloomfield said. “I’m a little disappointed and the players are disappointed.”

Lockhart finished the game with 84 yards rushing, while Hodges completed 8 of 14 passes for 83 yards and the one score.

On defense, Colton Smith and Austin Smith both had fumble recoveries for the Hornets.

Poplarville returns home to face Bay High on Friday.

“We need to stay focused,” Bloomfield said. “We need to play. We need to get ready for our tough region. We have Moss Point and St. Martin coming back to back. We can’t overlook an opponent.”