Poplarville to face defensive-minded Heidelburg Friday

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2017

POPLARVILLE — Poplarville has been clawing its way through the Associated Press polls lately, making its first appearance in the top ten at No. 9 after producing a late rally to defeat Stone County Friday night. After earning 11 of the 13 first place votes in class 4A, Poplarville is sitting comfortably in the pilot’s seat, but has some turbulence ahead.

The Hornets will go toe-to-toe against a respectable Heidelberg team, whose defense has already shutout half of its opponents and outscored its competition 112-49.

But Poplarville has gathered quite an impressive resume against talented defenses, behind the Swiss Army knife tailback Austin Bolton.

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After his season opener against Picayune, Bolton claimed he was the most underrated running back in Mississippi and promised to prove he should be number one.

As of now, Bolton sits at the top of every offensive leader board for Mississippi running backs. Bolton has only carried the ball 49 times and has accumulated the second most rushing yards in the state with 671 yards, behind Pascagoula’s Dalvin Abney with 696 yards on 103 carries. Bolton trails the other top 5 running back by 22 carries.

Despite his lack of touches, Bolton is the highest scoring player in the state, crossing the goal line 10 times this season. The closest athletes on the leader board are Long Beach’s Dennis Andrews, 7, and Picayune’s Shaun Anderson, 7. But Poplarville isn’t ranked No. 9 in the state because of one player. The Hornets’ swarm-like defense stings most of its opponents, allowing an average of 11 points per game.

Friday night, the swarm will travel to Heidelberg (3-1) in an attempt to keep its perfect record intact.