Poplarville sits atop the Sun Herald’s Top 10 poll for the second straight week.
Also, for the second straight week, none of the Coast teams dropped out of the poll.
The unbeaten Hornets (3-0) face their toughest test of the season Friday night against fourth-ranked Stone High (2-0) at A.L. May Memorial Stadium in Perkinston. Stone High is the biggest mover in this week’s poll, jumping four spots from a week ago.
The Hornets are led by Sun Herald’s All-South Mississippi running back Austin Bolton, who has 473 yards rushing and eight touchdowns on 30 carries through three games. Roosevelt Raine had 329 yards on 35 carries and four scores.
Stone, however, has a balanced offense behind running backs Trey Arrington and Kentrell McCray. Quarterback Travis Picco is capable of producing big plays through the air. Cornerback Enrique Whaley, who had three interceptions against Harrison Central two weeks ago, is a big-play return specialist.
The Hornets have won 11 straight regular season games. St. Martin is the last team to beat Poplarville in the regular season in the 2016 season opener.
Poplarville-Stone isn’t the only Top 10 contest this week involving South Mississippi schools.
Second-ranked Picayune (2-1) travels to Milner Stadium for a showdown against No. 6 Gulfport (1-2), which is coming off a 31-0 loss to Archbishop Rummel in New Orleans on Saturday. The Maroon Tide, winners of two straight since dropping the season-opener at Poplarville, prevailed last year at Lee-Triplett Stadium in Picayune. Tailback Shaun Anderson, who has 381 yards and three TDs on 60 carries, leads the Maroon Tide.
The other Top 10 clash takes place at St. Martin’s Joe Barlow Stadium when 10th-ranked St. Stanislaus (1-1) travels to face No. 7 St. Martin (2-1). Both teams are coming off losses.
The match-ups for the other ranked teams are: West Florida at No. 5 D'Iberville; Vancleave at No. 9 Long Beach; and Jefferson Davis County at third-ranked East Central.
Eighth-ranked Hancock, off to its third straight 3-0 start, has a bye.
Sun Herald Top 10
1. Poplarville (30)
2. Picayune (27)
3. East Central (24)
4. Stone (21)
5. D’Iberville (18)
6. Gulfport (14)
7. St. Martin (13)
8. Hancock (9)
9. Long Beach (6)
10. St. Stanislaus (3)