Poplarville Hornets lost opener to St. Martin Yellow Jackets

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 22, 2015

Things started so well for Poplarville.

The Hornets met the St. Martin Yellow Jackets Friday night in Poplarville and halfway into the first quarter, Hornet Austin Bolton earned the first touchdown of the evening and they snagged the extra point.

But the Yellow Jackets quickly showed they were the dominant force and swept past the Hornets. Afterwards Poplarville could never quite catch up.

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Poplarville lost, 20 to 47.

The Yellow Jacket’s domination began shortly after the Poplarville touchdown when, with 4:23 left in the first, Yellow Jacket’s quarterback Tyler Polk broke through Hornet defense and landed a touchdown. Their attempted two point conversion failed, so for a while the score was still 7 to 6, but an aggressive Yellow Jacket defense kept Jesse Pernell, the Hornet’s fullback, from getting much yardage. Pernell and Bolton could only manage to scramble a few yards up each play—if that—before giving the ball up to the Yellow Jackets.

Late in the first quarter, with only 1:06 left, Yellow Jacket Isaac Williams scored another touchdown, which put the score to 7 to 12. The Yellow Jackets never let their lead slip.

The second quarter began with a slog. Pernell and Bolton alternated attempts to break through the Yellow Jacket’s defense, but neither one got more than a few yards, if that.

When the Yellow Jackets got hold of the ball, Polk ran 70 yards downfield for a largely unimpeded touchdown, with 5:26 left in the second quarter. That put the score at 7 – 19.

The rest of the quarter was nothing but skirmishes, as the Hornets struggled and failed to penetrate the Yellow Jackets’ defense.

The third quarter opened with a bang. In the first 30 seconds of play Yellow Jacket Polk again ran the ball into end zone bringing the score to 7 – 25. The Yellow Jackets got their second touchdown with 6:54 on the clock and, with a two-point conversion, the score went to 7 – 33.

But the Hornets did not give up and, late in the game, they began to mount a slow recovery. Late in the third with two minutes left, Pernell carried the ball to the Yellow Jackets’ 10-yard line, and Zach Rice got it to the 6. Pernell took it over the line with 9:53 on the clock bringing it up to 14 – 33 with the extra point.

The fourth quarter was the most lively.

Early in, Kalem Reddix snagged a pass and ran the ball halfway down the field for another Yellow Jacket touchdown, with an extra point the score was 14 -40.

With 3:50 left on the clock, the Yellow Jackets notched another touchdown, bringing the score to 14 – 47, but the game wasn’t over. A minute later, with 2:04 on the clock, the Hornets got in another touchdown of their own, thanks to center back Chris Fowler.

After the game, Coach Jay Beech said he didn’t blame his team.

“This is on me,” he said. “Don’t let this one define our season.”

He added that the season isn’t about being perfect on the field.

“Let’s just try and get better every week,” he said. “Our goal is not to go undefeated, but getting a district championship and this is a building block to that goal.”