Poplarville defeats PRC 3-2 in rivalry match up
Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 7, 2019
The Poplarville Hornets and Pearl River Central Blue Devils faced off in the first match up of the season for the two county rivals on Nov. 5.
Poplarville Head Coach Luke Gipson said his team struggled early on in the game with some nerves, but were able to overcome them as the players settled into the game.“I think what happened was the simple things went right for us and then they took a deep breath and settled. You could see their confidence as the game went on,” Gipson said.
The Hornets settled in and went up 3-0 in part due to a beautiful free kick from winger Bryson Andrews.
PRC Head Coach Joe Weems said his team played hard and competed with the Hornets, but poor shape and some bad first touches cost them.“We were pressing a lot and our first touch was causing us to panic. We need to not allow the adrenaline to get to us,” Weems said.
However, the game wouldn’t be a blowout as Samuel Lambert scored twice for the Blue Devils in the final ten minutes of the game.
PRC wasn’t able to complete the comeback and the final score was 3-2 in favor of Poplarville.
Central midfielder Chase Giovengo also had a good game for the Blue Devils shielding the back line, while also going forward at times to link up with the attacking players. Weems said Giovengo and Lambert need to work on their spacing along with the other central midfields to make sure the defense isn’t left open to a counterattack in future games.“One is supposed to be defensive oriented and one is supposed to be offensive oriented. Both guys were getting pulled too far up or too far back, allowing Poplarville to have space to counterattack,” Weems said.
The Poplarville back line was stout for the majority of the game and a lot of that can be attributed to the play of center back Sonny Davis.
Gipson said Davis is a cornerstone for the team as one of just four seniors on the squad.
“You’ve got somebody like him that allows nothing dumb to happen because he’s so good, you can rely on him. He gave us the opportunity to be successful,” Gipson said.
The Blue Devils defense was solid as well as the defenders dealt with the speed of freshman striker Devin Ladner. Gipson said Ladner was originally slated to be a midfielder, but after his performances for the team during the Petal Classic as a forward Gipson decided to keep him there.
“His vision was great, routes toward the ball were great. He has a great understanding of the game and knows when to draw contact,” Gipson said.
Poplarville is scheduled to have an away game at Long Beach on Nov. 7 with the boys team set to play at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile the Blue Devils will play Stone at home on Nov. 8 with the boys team set to play at 7 p.m.