Poplarville will take on Pearl River Central in ‘a game to remember’

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 26, 2016

The Poplarville Hornets hope to end their losing streak against Pearl River Central Friday night.

Jay Beech, Hornets head football coach, wants his team to play with positive emotions in order to get a win.

Rival high schools, Poplarville and Pearl River Central, will step on the gridiron against one another in a potentially “action packed and emotional” game, Poplarville Head Football Coach Jay Beech said.

Even though this is the first time Beech and PRC Head Football Coach Larry Dolan face off as rivals, it’s not the first time they’ve seen each other’s coaching style.

“He might be a new coach for PRC, but he has been around the area long enough to know what he brings to the field. His complex systems offensively and defensively are well known around Mississippi, but that doesn’t mean you can stop it,” Beech said.

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PRC changed a majority of their coaching staff this year, bringing new defensive schemes with defensive coordinator Adam Thompson, who showed his skills during the first game of the season against Forrest County Agricultural High School.

For Dolan, the deciding factor to win this game is the same as last week, turnovers.

“Poplarville has a potent offense, so we have to force mistakes in order to win,” Dolan said.

PRC’s defense forced three game-deciding turnovers against FCAHS. The Blue Devils’ captain linebacker, Seth Orgeron, had a 48-yard fumble recovery touchdown as well as an interception, which ended FCAHS’s final drive and sealed the win. Willie Reece had another fumble recovery in which he returned 56 yards for a touchdown.

“They go after the ball on defense. We are aware of it and have been focusing on ball security throughout the week,” Beech said.

Because it’s Dolan’s first rivalry game with PRC, he said he has been working on making sure his players do not play with their emotions, but with their brains.

“It’s going to be a hard contest, there is no doubt about it. Poplarville is a great team this year and they are going to come after us all game long,” Dolan said.

However, Beech has a different approach to the rivalry.

“We want the kids to play with their emotions and be passionate about getting a win,” Beech said. “We haven’t beat the Devils since 2009. Hopefully if we keep our emotions intact and play with some passion, we can get a different outcome this year.”

Coming off of a loss against a top tier team in Mississippi, Beech said he hopes to correct the Hornets’ mistakes and be ready to play in PRC’s “electrifying atmosphere.”

“They have some of the best fans in Mississippi and we do too, so the crowd is going to be energetic as always,” Beech said. “This is going to be a game to remember.”

The rivalry game begins today at 7 p.m. at PRC.

Larry Dolan, PRC head football coach, will be part of his first Pearl River County football rivalry game on Friday.

Larry Dolan, PRC head football coach, will be part of his first Pearl River County football rivalry game on Friday.