Hornets grease the wheels to beat Oilers 33-14

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, September 19, 2017

HEIDELBERG — The Hornets wing-T offense is so far unstoppable this season, combining a gritty offensive line and a talented backfield that executes on nearly every down. And last Friday, Heidelberg felt the pressure of playing such a dynamic team.

Austin Bolton was the main focus of the night for the Oilers, and to the team’s credit, they contained the state’s top rusher for a majority of the game.

However, the state’s top scorer broke out for two long touchdown runs late in the game to keep Poplarville’s perfect record intact, stinging the Heidelberg Oilers in a 33-14 victory.

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In the beginning drives of the first half, Heidelberg displayed a tenacity that seemed to stun the Hornets, forcing the 4A south state champions convert fourth down plays on many occasions. Because of this pressure, the Oilers made the first mark on the scoreboard after its running back Tyrese Cooley found the end zone from two yards out in the first quarter.

After that, Heidelberg stayed on top, making the Hornets sweat out a frustrating first quarter.

“They are a great team. We shot ourselves in the foot a lot early on,” Poplarville Head Coach Jay Beech said.

But the Hornets kept the pressure on and although Bolton had not yet gotten the chance to produce his trademark cut and score from way out, teammate Ross Barnett scored a two-yard touchdown run to take a 7-6 lead after Chris Hughes made the extra point.

On the ensuing Poplarville drive, the Oilers forced the Hornets to punt the ball. While the ball was in the air, Heidelberg’s kick returner muffed the catch, allowing the Hornets to regain possession late in the second quarter, Beech said.

Immediately after converting a 4th and inches, power back Roosevelt Raine trucked the ball 28 yards to the end zone. After a failed PAT, Poplarville headed into halftime with a 13-6 lead.

The Oilers continued to put pressure on the Hornets’ top ranked offense, including Bolton, who has yet to score less than two touchdowns in a single game this season. But the teams headed into the second part of the third quarter, the top class running back had a small boost of confidence that ended miserably for the Heidelberg Oilers.

Bolton pushed his way for a two-yard touchdown that jumpstarted him and the rest of the team to finish the game on top.

Moments later, Bolton found a groove and sprinted 35 yards to break out his first long scoring run of the night, escalating the Hornets’ lead to 27-6 after a converted PAT from Hughes.

But in a blink of an eye, Beech said the Oilers converted on an 80-yard pass to Heidelberg’s Caleb Brunson for an Oilers touchdown. After a two-point conversion, Poplarville still had a comfortable 27-14 lead in the latter parts of the fourth quarter.

And to widen the lead, Bolton fastened completed a 55-yard commute to the end zone.

To end the game, the Hornets’ defense stopped an Oilers attack from five yards out, forcing a turnover on downs to end the game 33-14.

Bolton finished with 236 rushing yards and three touchdowns Friday night and teammate Raine collected 158 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Poplarville will have a bye week before heading into district play, hosting Greene County Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.