Poplarville beats Stone, 20-14

Published 7:00 am Saturday, September 9, 2017

By Patrick Ochs
Sun Herald
PERKINSTON Austin Bolton spoiled Stone’s bid for its first win in the rivalry since 2008.
Aided by two fourth-quarter touchdowns by the talented senior, No. 1 Poplarville defeated host Stone 20-14 on Friday night at A.L. May Memorial Stadium.
The Hornets rotated carries between Tyson Holston, Roosevelt Raine and Bolton for much of the game, but with the game coming down to the final few possessions, Poplarville (4-0) changed it up.
“We figured we would give it to No. 5 as many times as we could and see if he could get loose once or twice,” Poplarville coach Jay Beech said.
The change ended up paying off big time.
After being contained for most of the game, Bolton finally broke a big run with just under 7 minutes remaining in the contest. The Hornets’ senior running back broke down the visitor’s sideline for a 56-yard run. After Antonio Barnes completed a 15-yard play action pass to Tyson Holston, Bolton plunged into the end zone from 5 yards out. The Hornets were forced to go for 2 due to missing an extra point attempt earlier in the game, but the Tomcats defense snuffed out the rushing attempt to cling to a 14-13 advantage.
After forcing the Tomcats (2-1) to punt on their next possession, Bolton put Poplarville back ahead on a 37-yard run down the visitor’s sideline. A successful 2-point conversion put the Hornets ahead 20-14 with 2:26 remaining.
“We knew it was going to be a dog fight but we had to come out and keep fighting,” said Bolton, who finished with 187 yards on 22 carries. “I give it all to my O-line. They fought hard.”

Slow start
Following last week’s win at Biloxi, SHS coach John Feaster preached that if his team played undisciplined again Friday the Tomcats would get embarrassed. His warning proved to be prophetic, at least early on Friday as Poplarville’s opening drive was prolonged by several Stone penalties. The Hornets ultimately drove 90 yards and scored on an 8-yard run by Holston, but missed the extra point.
It didn’t take Stone long to respond. Enrique Whaley returned the kickoff 71 yards, setting up Kentrell McCray’s 4-yard touchdown run around the right side of the line.
Two possessions later Stone found paydirt again. Set up by the first of two first-half interceptions by Demetrius Whittaker – and a 49-yard option run by Jakalyn Green – Trey Arrington powered through the middle of the line. The 2-yard score with 2:27 remaining in the first half put Stone ahead 14-6.

Poplarville returns to the field next Friday with a road contest at Heidelberg. The Hornets open their Region 7-4A on Sept. 29 against Greene County.
Stone has its second bye week next Friday before opening 8-5A play against West Harrison.

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