Hornets sting Pass Christian 63-21

Published 1:32 am Saturday, November 5, 2016

Poplarville didn’t miss a beat this week going into the 4A playoffs as they trampled over a Pass Christian team that just couldn’t keep up with the Hornets. The game ended in a 63-21 victory for Poplarville.
In the first snap of the game, Poplarville’s Zach Rice set the tone for the rest of the game with an early sack.
“That sack was huge for us this game,” Poplarville’s Head Football Coach said. “We wanted to come out and play the same way we’ve been playing all year and our kids did a great job tonight.”
In the Hornets’ first drive, they were stumped at the opponent’s 37-yardline on fourth and five yards to gain. This was the last chance Pass Christian had to change the momentum of this game. Instead, Hornets’ running back Jesse Pernell caught a 24-yard pass, which set him up for an 8-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter.
The Hornets’ defense held Pass Christian’s offense to two 3-and-outs in its first two possessions, which led to scoring drives for Poplarville.
After a 55-yard drive, Austin Bolton ran 1-yard for another Poplarville touchdown, making the score 14-0 with 1:38 to go in the first quarter.
Even after a brief intermission between the first and second quarters, the script was the same on the gridiron Friday night as Poplarville’s defense forced the Pirates to turn the ball over on downs at their own 28-yardline, giving the Hornets great field position early in the second quarter.
Two plays after the turnover and Pernell found the end zone for the second time Friday night as he used a quick spin move to maneuver around two Pirate defenders and ran 28-yards for a touchdown.
In the ensuing drive, the Pirates gave the Hornets excellent field position yet again after Pirates’ Gerald Jones fumbled the ball 28 yards away from the Pirates’ own end zone.
Another turnover by the Pirates resulted in Pernell finding the pay dirt for his third time after running 5 yards for a touchdown making the score at 28-0.
With eight minutes left in the first half, the Poplarville Hornets defense let their presence be known one last time as they forced the Pirates to punt the ball after five Pirate offensive snaps.
After a 53-yard touchdown run from Bolton was taken back, due to a offensive block in the back penalty, the Hornets continued to drive down the field, ending the drive with a 1-yard punch-in by Hornets’ Peytan Graham, leaving the score 35-0 at halftime.
Poplarville started the second half with the ball and with the first score of the half after Bolton set himself up with a 37-yard run to finish off the drive with a 5-yard rushing touchdown.
Then a short burst of momentum shined on the Pass Christian side of the pitch as V.J. Swanier ran 67-yards for a Pirates touchdown. Immediately after that, the Pirates recovered an onside kick with 9:56 to go in the third quarter.
The onside kick served the Pirates well as they took advantage of this quick turn of events and Jackson Hall received a 15-yard pass for a touchdown, closing the large gap to 42-14.
After another long run was taken back because of a Hornets’ offensive penalty, it was Tyson Holston who made his mark on the scoreboard after catching a 38-yard lob from quarterback Antonio Barnes for another six-points and a 49-14 lead with 5:15 to go in the third quarter.
Next, with Aritaeus Johnson nabbing an interception, it was Hornets’ Ross Barnett who dashed 54 yards to find the end zone to start the fourth quarter, making the score 56-14.
Finally, with another Hornets interception by Kyle Chambliss, the team set up another scoring drive, ending with Roosevelt Raine running 15 yards to the end zone.
The Poplarville Hornets advance to the second round of the 4A playoffs, which will be played next Friday.

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