Po­plarville, Picayune roll; St. Martin falls in nail-biter

The Sun Herald (Sunday) - - Sports - BY PA­TRICK MAGEE

The Po­plarville foot­ball team con­tin­ues to pile up the rush­ing yardage be­hind an ex­pe­ri­enced of­fen­sive line.

The Hor­nets tal­lied five rush­ing touch­downs Fri­day to earn a 40-8 road win at North­east Laud­erdale in the sec­ond round of the MHSAA Class 4A play­offs.

“We have a se­niorheavy group right here, and they have a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence in th­ese type of games,” Po­plarville coach Jay Beech said. “So the mo­ment is not too big for them. We just took it one play at a time there and were able to put to­gether some drives against a very tough de­fense.”

The win im­proved the Hor­nets to 11-1 and ended North­east Laud­erdale’s sea­son at 7-5. Po­plarville will host South Pike next Fri­day in the third round of the Class 4A post­sea­son.

Ju­nior run­ning back Chase Shears had scor­ing runs of 15 and 23 yards, An­to­nio Barnes scored on runs of 20 and 15 yards and Cory Knight tal­lied touch­down runs of 2 and 40 yards.

Po­plarville scored touch­downs on its first five drives of the game and on its open­ing first drive of the sec­ond half. The Hor­nets’ lone punt of the night oc­curred with 6 min­utes left in the fourth quar­ter.

Po­plarville led North­east Laud­erdale 33-0 at half­time.

Petal 34, Gulf­port 0: The Coast’s Class 6A pro­grams con­tin­ued their strug­gles in the post­sea­son with No. 1 seed Gulf­port join­ing the three other play­off teams, St. Martin, Ocean Springs and Har­ri­son Cen­tral, in de­feat.

Petal took ad­van­tage of every Gulf­port mis­take and the Ad­mi­rals made plenty of them.

The Pan­thers re­cov­ered two fum­bles and in­ter­cepted a pass in the first half, lead­ing to a 20-0 ad­van­tage at the break. De­fen­sively, the Pan­thers held Gulf­port to just 60 yards of to­tal of­fense through the first two frames, and only 9 yards through a quar­ter and a half of play, with two to­tal first downs.

Gulf­port, which man­aged just 124 yards of to­tal of­fense and five first downs, had its sea­son come to a close with a record of 10-2 sea­son comes to a close with a record of

Petal (6-6) will travel to Oak Grove in the sec­ond round.

Pearl 28, Ocean Springs 12: The de­fend­ing Class 6A state cham­pi­ons trav­eled to Ocean Springs Fri­day night and used a strong sec­ond half to pick up the win.

The Pi­rates scored all 14 points over the fi­nal two quar­ters af­ter they held a 14-12 lead at the half.

The two scores for Ocean Springs were a 25-yard pass from Blake Noblin to Khalil Levy and a 9-yard run by Micah Kelly.

Pearl (8-4) will travel to ri­val Bran­don in the sec­ond round.

The Ocean Springs sea­son comes to an end with a record of 7-5.

Picayune 55, Natchez 8: The Ma­roon Tide (9-3) made short work of the Bulldogs, jump­ing out to a 34-0 lead at half­time.

Se­nior run­ning back Jortin Raine ran for three touch­downs, all in the first half, to lead the Picayune rush­ing at­tack. His long­est score of the night was his first on a 58-yard run in the first quar­ter.

Caleb Hart also added a pair of rush­ing touch­downs for Picayune, which will travel to Lau­rel in the sec­ond round of the play­offs.

Bran­don 31, St. Martin 28: Bran­don’s Ma­son Walker kicked a 27-yard field goal as time ex­pired to al­low the Bulldogs to hold off a de­ter­mined St. Martin squad Fri­day night in the first round of the Class 6A play­offs.

St. Martin fin­ishes the sea­son 7-5 while Bran­don (12-1) ad­vances to host Pearl.

Jay McGee had touch­down runs of 28 and 13 yards to give St. Martin a 14-0 lead with 3:15 left in the first quar­ter.

Bran­don an­swered with 28 con­sec­u­tive points, but St. Martin se­nior quar­ter­back Mileon Gra­ham fi­nally had a re­sponse for St. Martin on a 3-yard touch­down run at the

6:09 mark of the third quar­ter.

Gra­ham tied the game at 28-28 with 8:53 left when he ran 3 yards for a touch­down.

Oak Grove 45, Har­ri­son Cen­tral 14: Se­nior quar­ter­back Dayln An­der­son had a pair of long touch­down passes, but that was all the Red Rebels could muster on the road.

An­der­son’s touch­down tosses were for 46 and 66 yards in a game that Oak Grove led 16-7 at the half.

Har­ri­son Cen­tral’s sea­son comes to a close with a record of 8-4.

West Jones 25, Stone High 23: West Jones kicker Walker Thomp­son kicked a 34-yard field goal with 3 min­utes re­main­ing to fin­ish off the Mus­tangs’ rally.

Stone High took a 20-3 lead at the 10-minute mark of the sec­ond quar­ter when Jammy Boulton re­turned an in­ter­cep­tion 93 yards for a touch­down.

All the Tom­cats could man­age from that point for­ward was a 29-yard field goal by Daw­son

Cudd with 10 min­utes left in the third quar­ter.

West Jones (10-2) will travel to Hat­ties­burg in the sec­ond round of the Class 5A play­offs.

Stone High’s sea­son comes to an end with a record of 4-7.

Other scores

East Cen­tral 17, Greene County 7

Nanih Waiya 48, Res­ur­rec­tion 0

El­ton Hayes of the Merid­ian Star and Ca­mal Petro of PineBeltS­ports.com con­trib­uted to this re­port. Pa­trick Magee: 228-896-2333

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