TAYLORSVILLE, MS (WDAM) - It will be a battle of unbeatens in Smith County on Friday night. Taylorsville (4-0) hosts Columbia (4-0) at 7 p.m.
The Tartars faced the Chip Bilderback-led Perry Central Bulldogs twice in their run to the class 2A state championship last season. Bilderback now leads the Columbia Wildcats, and first-year Taylorsville coach Mitch Evans knows what to expect from the opposite sideline.
"Actually, I talked to Chip earlier in the week and I said, ‘It looks just like Perry Central but with blue on,’” Evans said. “They’re physical, they're big, they're well-coached. It’s going to be a tough opponent for us and anybody in [class] 3A. They’re going to make some noise in 3A I feel like this year.”
“They have a great coaching staff, they have a great quarterback, they have experience,” Bilderback said. “They've won 14 games in a row so they know what it takes. Taylorsville’s a tough place to play. It's definitely our biggest challenge that we have right now. Our goal is to go over there and get after it and see where everything lies."
Bilderback gives all credit to his players for the Wildcats 4-0 start, namely a backfield that is averaging over 400 rushing yards per game.
Freshman Omar Johnson leads the Wildcats with 850 yards on the ground while junior Kentrell Bullock has 382 yards. The two provide a salty one-two punch for Columbia.
“We have two really good running backs,” Bilderback said. “And I think if you look at any great running back, or running backs, it goes back to their offensive line. And that’s part of our philosophy, we’re trying to win up front on both sides of the ball. I think Omar and Kentrell both would be the first ones to tell you, we have a really good offensive line that gets after it extremely hard.”