St. Stanislaus and Poplarville once played a high school football game that Poplarville won 82-80. The two teams combined to finish just 4-16 during that 2012 season when both schools occupied region 8 class 4A.
Since that time, both the Rock-A-Chaws and Hornets have gone to a pair of 4A State championship games, accounting for four out of the last five South State titles.
Even though Poplarville realigned with region 7 back in 2015, St. Stanislaus just keeps finding a way to bump into its old district rival in the second season.
Not only is Friday’s head to head playoff matchup the News 25 Game of the Week, it’s now the third of its kind over the past five years.
So for SSC, November drives up Highway 53 are nothing new. St. Stanislaus Wide receiver Dallas Payne said, “I don’t know. It’s just we always find a way to play. I think it’s just like this little playoff rivalry we’ve got going on. They’re a good team, so we’re a good team. It’s going to be a good match-up.”
St. Stanislaus Head Football Coach Nate Encrapera said, “We try to get as much film on Poplarville as we can. I’m sure they try to get as much film on us. And this is something in the spring we run Wing-T. Even though most of the teams in our district don’t run that anymore, we devote a whole week to Wing-T to try to get ready to play a team like Poplarville down the road. (Just in case?) Just in case.”
St. Stanislaus and Poplarville will kick things off from the Hornet’s Nest at 7 p.m. Friday.