Hornets’ have open week prior to district opener

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 21, 2017

POPLARVILLE — Every Friday, running back Austin Bolton provides Poplarville football fans with an impressive highlight reel of stiff arms, hurdles and breakout plays. But this week, those eager fans will have to wait.

The Poplarville Hornets enter its open week, prior to kicking off district play against Greene County Sept. 29.

And although it might not seem like the reigning 4A South State champions need to focus on fixing any aspect of its game, Head Coach Jay Beech said there are improvements his team needs to make every week if players want to accomplish the season goals the they set in the offseason.

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“We need to fine-tune some things on both sides of the ball and get ready to compete in the district,” Beech said.

Last week, Poplarville scratched off another victory, beginning the season undefeated at 5-0 and outscoring its previous opponents 169-58. Since the Hornets’ emotional victory over regional rival Picayune 27-24, the swarm has held its opponents to 14 points or less, all against respectable and successful programs.

There’s no secret to Poplarville’s success. Behind one of the most high-powered offenses in Mississippi, a persistent offensive line, senior leadership and a tenacious defense, the Hornets are continually turning heads across the state, rising in the Associated Press poll, now ranked 9th out of all Mississippi classes and currently named the highest ranked team in south Mississippi.

With over 420 offensive yards and 34 points per game, the recipe for the Hornets’ success appears simple, but Beech said it is a complex process that requires the efforts of every single player on that team.

“Every player has his job and we’ve been doing good at executing those jobs for the most part. We just have to keep pushing to get better,” Beech said after his 33-14 victory last week over Heidelberg.

Bolton officially took the rushing reigns after last week’s 236 yard and three touchdown performance against the Oilers, ranking as the No. 1 running back in the state with a total of 947 yards.

The standout back also maintained his No. 1 position in scoring with 78 total points, 13 touchdowns, beating the second top scorer by 24 points, or four touchdowns.

After some minor tweaks, Poplarville will host its second to last home game against Greene County. The Wildcats will take on Moss Point this week and if Greene County comes out with a victory, an undefeated clash will kickoff Region 7-4A play next week.