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Poplarville defeats North Pike in playoff matchup

The Poplarville Hornets cruised to a 62-6 victory over the North Pike Jaguars last night to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

North Pike started the game with the ball, but on the second play from scrimmage quarterback Cardell McDowell threw an interception to Poplarville linebacker Mason Anderson.

The Hornets got the ball on the North Pike 36-yard line and the drive ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by running back DJ Richardbey. Preston Stuart came on for the PAT, splitting the uprights to give Poplarville a 7-0 lead with 7:57 left in the first quarter. On the following possession, Poplarville defensive end Khalid Moore recovered a North Pike fumble to give the Hornets possession of the ball.

Running back Avan Jarvis then took the ball in from 1-yard out to score another touchdown for Poplarville.

Stuart’s extra point was no good, but Poplarville led 13-0 with 6:58 still to go in the first quarter. Poplarville got the ball back with 3:36 in the first and the 61-yard drive was capped off by a 28-yard touchdown from Richardbey. This time Zach Carpenter came on for the extra point. The kick was good to give the Hornets a 20-0 lead. Another stop by the Hornets’ defense gave the ball back to the offense and quarterback Nate Anderson found running back Greg Swann wide open on a long pass that Swann took into the end zone. Another PAT by Carpenter was good, making the lead 27-0.

North Pike finally got a score of their own on the following drive thanks in part to several Poplarville penalties.

Following the calls, McDowell found wide receiver Jacoby Matthews on a 27-yard touchdown pass. 

Jace Brown came on to kick the extra point but missed, so the Hornets maintained a 27-6 lead.

Poplarville wasn’t going to let the Jaguars get any momentum, and on the next drive drove 53-yards down the field to score on a 17-yard rush by running back Tyron Holston.

Carpenter’s kick was good, and the advantage was 34-6 in favor of Poplarville. On the following possession Poplarville again picked off McDowell, this time with linebacker Ahmad Harmon recording the interception.

The Hornets capitalized and scored again through Richardbey with under a minute to go in the half.

Carpenter’s kick combined to give the Hornets a 41-6 lead into halftime. The Hornets’ defense didn’t give an inch in the second half to hold the Jaguars to a shutout in the third and fourth quarters. Second half scores from Holston, Jarvis and quarterback Nate Anderson rounded out a dominant performance from the Hornets to earn a 62-6 victory.

Head Coach Jay Beech said his team came into the game with the right intensity and desire to move on to the next round of the playoffs. “We came hungry to win. We’re not complacent or satisfied with where we’re at. I challenged the guys this week saying this was going to be the most physical game of the year, and the guys took that challenge and excelled,” Beech said. Poplarville’s opponent and venue for next week’s playoff matchup will be determined by other results across the state.