POPLARVILLE -- St. Stanislaus could not pick up a first down in the first 15 minutes of action Friday night.
After that, they could not be stopped.
Riding the hot arm of junior quarterback Myles Brennan, the Rockachaws advanced to the 4-A state quarterfinals for the third consecutive year with a 33-21 victory over the home standing Poplarville Hornets.
"I'm excited for our kids," St. Stanislaus Head Coach Bill Conides said. "It's our third trip to the quarterfinals in a row. We can't wait to play Moss Point again."
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Poplarville had three chances to score in the first quarter, but St. Stanislaus' defense thwarted each opportunity.
After Jessee Pernell exploded for a 50-yard run on the Hornets' first play from scrimmage, the Rockachaws defense put together a goal-line stand to keep them out of the end zone.
After a short punt, Poplarville set up show at the SSC 39, but turned the ball over on downs when a fourth-and-one run at the 30 failed.
On the first play of the second quarter, Brennan fumbled at his own 16 and it was recovered by Poplarville, however, St. Stanislaus' Tommy Reeder blocked a field-goal attempt to keep the game scoreless.
"We had lot of opportunities early," Poplarville Coach Jay Beech said. "We did'nt take advantage and you can't do that against St. Stanislaus. Hats off to them. They played well on defense and hit us on some big plays."
After the missed field goal, Brennan and the Rock-A-Chaws went to work.
Brennan looked deep and connected with Darius Pittman for an 80-yard touchdown strike to get things started.
"We just stayed true to our script," Conides said. "Once Myles got going, we hit some plays. When you face press coverage, you are going to have some opportunities."
St. Stanislaus missed the point-after.
Trailing 6-0, the Hornets embarked on an impressive 13 play drive that spanned 65 yards. Austin Bolton capped the dive with a two-yard touchdown run. The point-after gave the Hornets a 7-6 lead with just 3:38 to play in the half.
The lead, however, would not last long.
Brennan connected with Owen Betz on a 25-yard touchdown pass. After a Poplarville punt, Brennan then engineered a perfect two-minute drill to score on the final play of the first half on a three-yard pass to Betz.
The point-after failed, but SSC had grabbed a 19-7 lead at the half.
"That was a big play of us to score before the half," Brennan said. "It gave us a lot of momentum going into the half and we came out excited in the third."
Poplarville ate up nearly seven minutes of game clock to open the third quarter, but once again, turned the ball over on downs.
Brennan and Betz then connected for their third score of the game, a 75-yard bomb.
The point-after gave St. Stanislaus a 26-7 lead.
Brennan finished the game with 297 yards passing and four touchdowns. Betz had four grabs for 107 yards and three scores.
Poplarville got back into the game with a seven-yard scoring run by Pernell at the 9:35 mark of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 26-14.
Pernell led all rushers in the game with 129 yards on 9 carries. Bolton added 84 yards on 26 carries.
St. Stanislaus's Cahill Marlowe iced the game with a 43-yard touchdown run at the 5:15 mark.
Poplarville dented the scoreboard one final time when Sye Blossman scored on a six-yard run with two minutes to play, but St. Stanislaus would recover the on-sides kick and run out the clock.