Game of the Week: Hattiesburg vs. Laurel
LAUREL, Miss. - The Hattiesburg Tigers (10-3) will travel to Laurel Friday to take on the Golden Tornadoes (11-1).
Both teams have come a long way. But, only one will move on to the semifinals.
Hattiesburg head coach, Tony Vance said, "It's going to be a great football game between two really good football teams. Unfortunately, only one team is going to win. They're very, very talented football team and everyone knows. We got to play our best game."
"It's obvious that both offenses are great. I think Coach Vance could come over here and coach my guys and I could go coach his, and we'd probably won't know the difference. They're both that good. When you have good offenses like this, defenses get overshadowed," said Laurel head coach, Todd Breland.
Good defense will be the key in this game for both teams.
Hattiesburg wide receiver, Jordan Murphy said, "We come out playing very fast like our offense is suppose to, we know we're going to win regardless. And we know we can depend on our defense anyway."
"They beat us by the running back, we were too worried about him. So, this game, we just going to handle our business, do what we supposed to do and execute," said Laurel strong safety, Jalon Thigpen.
Laurel wants to redeem themselves from the loss they suffered against them.
"I mean it's hard to beat a team twice, so we're going to come play how we been coached to play," said Laurel free safety, Matthew Tillman.
"My o-line, they done play the best they ever played since Hattiesburg. And my receivers, you know how we do," said Laurel quarterback, Tyquan Ulmer.
Hattiesburg lost three times this season and went through some adversity.
But, they are playing well together and their running back has become a pivotal part of their offense.
Fabian Franklin said, "I got stronger, a lot faster, and more visual eyes, seeing a lot of coverage's, and seeing what I have to do to break through open-field tackles, and all that stuff."
With this cross-town rivalry and a championship on the line, you can expect both teams to play well.
"We got to bring our A-game, and I know they're going to bring their A-game, because I know they're going to try to win it to go to South State, and I know we trying to win it to go to South State. So, we both going to play hard. But at the end of the day, it's going to be about who really wants it."
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Laurel High School.