After their first win of the season last Friday against Jeff Davis County, the Hattiesburg Tigers are carrying momentum heading into region play.
“Our team is excited and working hard. We’ve been practicing hard this week and can’t wait to get back on the field,” head coach Tony Vance said.
After facing a daunting non-region schedule that included Petal, Laurel, and Oak Grove, Vance feels that his team is better prepared after playing a tough “preseason.”
“Sure, we would love to be 4-0 to start the season, but I feel that our weaknesses were exposed and we were able to work and improve those areas heading into the games that matter,” Vance said.
Each and every region game carries significance for who gets into the playoffs and what seeds each team will receive. Friday night’s game at Wayne County is no different.
“It’s an important game. Only four teams make the playoffs from our region. The only way I know to guarantee we make the playoffs is to win all of our region games,” Vance said.
Wayne County loves to run the ball. Sophmore Kelnevious Walley already has two 100 yard games and has scored a touchdown in every game this season. Vance needs his defensive front to step up Friday night.
“It starts up front. We’ve got to play great on the defensive line and we have to tackle well. We’ve got to get a lot of hits on the ball,” Vance said.
The Tiger offensive line will have their hands full as the Wayne County defensive line racked up seven sacks against West Jones last week.
“They’re big and athletic up front. They’re real good players, but if we can avoid turnovers and move the ball on the ground, we’ll be fine,” Vance said.
The Tigers will look to Seniors Rhyen Brisco and Jamal Donaldson to lead the offensive charge. Brisco already has 458 receiving yards and five touchdowns on the season while Donaldson leads the rushing attack with 208 yards and four touchdowns.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at War Eagle Stadium in Waynesboro.