POPLARVILLE, MS (WLOX) - One last week of practice for one last team still standing in South Mississippi, as Poplarville looks to clinch their first state championship in program history.
“It’s huge, it’s big. It’s a dream come true for everybody," said Hornets head coach Chase Shears. "It’s kind of a surreal experience that a lot of coaches who coach a lifetime never get to experience.”
The Hornets survived into the final week of November by taking care of some unfinished business in Hurley.
After falling in the first edition of the “Hornet Bowl” last year, Poplarville made amends, knocking off East Central 33-17 to clinch the 2018 Class 4A South State Championship.
“Last year, we should have won it, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be," running back Chase Shears said. "Leave it all to the man up above. He (gives) it to us and we take it. Give Him all the glory.”
After seeing the East Central defense dominate opponent after opponent, Shears took matters into his own hands. The junior running back ran for 173 yards and two touchdowns in their South State victory, all this after his five touchdown performance the week before.
“We feel like if we can get him to the second level, he can do the rest on his own,” Beech said. “He’s proven that over the last few weeks, he’s just a big, strong running back. He’s just different than your normal running back.”
And now, with their state championship showdown with Louisville looming this Saturday, the junior running back knows he - along with the rest of his teammates - will have to shine when the lights are the brightest.
“I just say, if I see green grass, I’m going," Shears said. "If I get there, I get there. If I don’t, I just try it again.”
The Hornets kick off the 2018 MHSAA Class 4A State Championship game Saturday at 11 a.m. from M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg.