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Poplarville heading for rematch with Purvis

The Poplarville Hornets are preparing for their third round playoff game against the Purvis Tornadoes this Friday night.

Poplarville, who stands 10-2, will seek to avenge last season’s 49-14 elimination loss to Purvis in the first round of the 2013 4A playoffs.

The Hornets have had an impressive season under first-year head coach Jay Beech, and the team is playing for a chance to advance to the South State Finals. To become one of the final four teams in Mississippi’s 4A classification, Poplarville will have to travel to Purvis and leave with a victory.

After suffering a 38-6 blowout loss against Pearl River Central on Aug. 29, Poplarville rebounded and won their next seven games to get their season back on track. It wasn’t until the last week of the regular season – after the Hornets had already clinched their division – that they would lose their next game.

That loss would come against Vancleave, who made the playoffs but was eliminated last Friday night by Poplarville’s upcoming opponent, the Purvis Tornadoes.

Purvis also finished with a 10-2 record this year, losing both games on the road and maintaining a perfect record at home. For Poplarville to advance, they will have to give the Tornadoes their first home loss of 2014.

Poplarville is averaging more than 35 points a game this season behind a solid offensive line and a rushing attack led by talented running back Malik Lucas. Their average margin of victory is 12 points. Purvis has put up similar numbers this season, averaging 36.1 points a game and an average margin of victory of more than 16 points.

As the saying goes, “Something has to give.”

If the Hornets win, they will host the winner of the matchup between St. Stanislaus College and Forrest County Agricultural High School in Poplarville next week. FCAHS is the reigning 4A State champion and have advanced to the third round of the playoffs, despite a losing record. The Hornets played St. Stanislaus earlier this season in a thrilling overtime contest. Poplarville won 47-46 and gave the Rock-a-Chaws their only loss of the season.

Poplarville and Purvis will kickoff at 7 p.m. in Purvis this Friday night.