Poplarville wins first district championship in 20 years.
It was a jubilant evening in Hornet country Friday as the football team clinched its first district championship in 20 years.
The Poplarville Hornets were victorious over the Bay High Tigers 41 to 29.
This is the Hornets seventh win in a row and secured the team a spot in the playoffs.
In a previous Item article, Head Coach Jay Beech said that Bay High had won eight of the last ten meetings between the two schools.
After Friday’s tremendous win, Beech said it felt very good.
The Hornets took an early lead over the Tigers in the first quarter with a touchdown by wide back Anthony Martin in the first two minutes of the game.
With six minutes left in the quarter, full back Jesse Pernell completed his first of many big plays of the game with a touchdown, bringing the Hornets up to 14. Bay High had yet to score by the end of the first quarter.
Full back Jesse Pernell once again delivered with another score in the second quarter. The Hornets now led the Tigers 21 to 0.
With seven minutes left in the half, the Tigers began to show some life with their first score of the game by full back Tristan Hopgood. Bay High followed up that play with another touchdown bringing their total score to 14, Hornets 21.
With six seconds left in the game, Tiger quarterback Wes Seymour completed a pass to wide receiver Austin Wilkinson for another Tiger touchdown.
With mere seconds left in the half, the Tigers completed a two-point conversion play.
The halftime score was Bay High 22, Hornets 21.
The Hornets defense came charging out onto the field keeping the Tigers caged and unable to score.
With seven minutes to go in the third quarter, running back Malik Lucas scored big with a 48-yard touchdown, once again giving the Hornets the lead. The team tried a two-point conversion but it was no good.
The score at the beginning of the fourth quarter was Poplarville 27, Bay High 22.
The final quarter began on a high note for the Hornets as running back Malik Lucas scored his second touchdown of the night.
Bay High answered back with a touchdown by running back Larnelle Lewis with eight minutes left in the game. The score was now Hornets 34, Tigers 29.
Three minutes were left in the game when the ball was intercepted by Hornets wide receiver Devin Bonner.
The Hornets banked on that interception as running back Malik Lucas ran the ball into the end zone for his third touchdown of the night.
The final score was Poplarville 41, Bay High 29.
“The Bay High team came and played excellently,” Beech said. “They played hard and we knew it would be a battle. Our seniors are resilient and our defense came back in a big way during the second half.”
The Hornets final regular season game will be next Friday, Oct. 31 at Vancleave at 7 p.m.
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