PETAL, Miss. - The Hattiesburg Tigers will be traveling to Petal Saturday to take on the Panthers.
Both teams have been working hard all throughout the offseason to face one another and be this year's Leaf River Rivalry winners.
Petal head coach, Marcus Boyles said, "It's a rivalry of respect. I think we both respect each other. The way I look at it after Saturday night, we're both going to know kind of where we stand. You want to win the ball game, but you know you're going to be a better football team after the game, win or lose."
"They'll be well-coached, and they got guys who can play. So, we know and we understand that we're going up against a formidable opponent, and we got to do our best to come out with a victory," said Hattiesburg head coach, Tony Vance.
The Tigers are led by their star running back and Mississippi State commit, Fabian Franklin. And he is hoping to bring his team to the top this year.
"I feel like I got to do everything I need to do because this is my last chance to play with Coach Vance and for Coach Vance," said Franklin.
Petal has high hopes as well as they look to play with a mentality that will lead them to a state championship.
"We've been in the state championship in the past six years twice. Lost both. So, we just kind of feel like it's on the edge of our fingertips. It keeps us driving a lot. So, just use it as motivation,” said Nicholas Russell, Petal outside linebacker/wide receiver.
Petal defeated Hattiesburg last year, so we will see Saturday night, if the Panthers can do it again, or if the Tigers can get their revenge.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.