Poplarville coaches and players are optimistic, inspired, ready to complete a mission that began in early August.
Running back Austin Bolton hopes to be in that number when the Hornets battle the Lafayette Commodores. He suffered an ankle sprain in Poplarville's 42-12 victory over Florence to capture the 4A South State title.
He says the team set goals and they have reached all but the final one. And they can take care of that last one on Saturday.
Bolton said, "First the goal was to win district, then South State, then State. So, we finally accomplished two goals. Now looking to conquer this."
Sophomore quarterback Antonio Barnes keeps defensive teams honest, having passed for 856 yards and 12 touchdowns. His main assignment, get the ball into the hands of Bolton, Jesse Pernell and Tyson Holston.
"It's great because you know every time coach calls in a play, you're able to trust them knowing that they'll be able to do it and makes plays for the team, "said Barnes.
Coach Jay Beech has watched his team become proficient in every phase of the game, offense, defense and special teams. There's a positive pulse that is vibrating throughout the team and the Poplarville community.
Beech said, "We've gotten better as the year went on. Our offensive line has gotten a little bit better and we're just a hot football team right now and hopefully we can continue that."
18 seniors will play their last high school football game in a Poplarville uniform on Saturday. Their goal is to go out on top.
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