Bay High Tigers fall to Poplarville Hornets, 54-35
By Maurice Singleton
Oct 25, 2013, 23:42
The Bay High Tigers caught Poplarville off-guard with their special teams play at times, but the Tigers' defense struggled early in its efforts to stop the Hornets' potent offensive attack in a 54-35 loss in Bay St. Louis Friday night.
The Tigers opened the game with a reverse return of 46 yards by Patrick Daniels to the Poplarville 27 yardline. Daniels outran defenders around the left side of the field for 12 yards on second down to give the Tigers a first down. Larnelle Lewis capped the opening drive with a seven-yard run to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead. The PAT kick was blocked.
Poplarville responded with 30 unanswered points to close out the first half with a 30-6 lead.
"We didn't play well in the first half," said Tigers coach Jeff Hopgood. "We didn't play with any emotion. At half, we talked about that and the kids played with some emotion in the second half and we got ourselves back in the ball game. We played pretty well on special teams. I'm proud of the kids' efforts."
Bay High opened the second half with a sky kick that was recovered by I'Jerrius Nixon for the Tigers at the Poplarville 37 yard line. The Tigers put together a seven-play drive that featured a run of nine yards by Tristan Hopgood and a 12-yard carry by Lewis for the score. Bennett Favre connected with Hopgood for the two-point conversion. The Tigers trailed 30-14.
The Tigers attempted an on-sides kick, but the ball rolled out of bounds, giving the visitors excellent field position at the Tigers' 48 yard line. Poplarville answered with a 48-yard scoring run on their first play from scrimmage in the second half to increase their lead to 37-14.
Daniels returned the ensuing kickoff almost 70 yards, but he fumbled inside the 10 yardline and Poplarville recovered the ball at their own three yard line. Again, on the first play from scrimmage they scored, a 97-yard run to increase the lead to 44-14.
The Tigers’ next possession ended with an interception. Poplarville capped the 52-yard drive with a 14-yard run to go ahead 51-14.
On the Tigers' ensuing possession, Hopgood broke free for a 22-yard run on first down. Lewis capped the drive with an eight-yard run for the score, his third score of the night. Mark Johnson's PAT kick was good. The Tigers trailed 51-21.
Bay High fielded the on-sides kick at the Poplarville 43 yard line. On third down, Lewis broke through the line of scrimmage for a 35-yard score. Johnson's PAT kick was good, and the Tigers trailed 51-28 with 11:52 showing on the game clock.
Poplarville answered with a nine-play drive that was capped with a 36-yard field goal to extend their lead to 54-28.
The Tigers closed out the night's scoring with a 29-yard pass from Wes Seymour to Lewis.
Lewis led Tigers' ball carriers with 133 yards on 19 carries and four touchdowns. Lewis added a fifth score on a 29-yard reception for a score. Hopgood rushed for 49 yards on sixcarries.
Favre completed three of seven passes for 26 yards. Seymour completed one of four passes for 29 yards and a score and an interception.
Defensively, Nick Proulx and Keishaun Pullom led the Tigers with eight tackles each, followed by Taylor Kidd with seven, and Skylar Bush, Austin Wilkinson, Gage Ladner and Tyler Lafave with six each.
The Tigers take their 4-5 (2-2, district) record to Moss Point next Friday night. A win will put the Tigers in the playoffs.