First-half turnovers against Petal send Gulfport out of the playoffs
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 senior-heavy 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.
Nanih Waiya 48, Resurrection 0
Elton Hayes of the Meridian Star and Camal Petro of PineBeltSports.com contributed to this report.