PINE BELT (WDAM) - The stage is set for the state's oldest continuously played rivalry between the Hattiesburg High Tigers and the Laurel Tornadoes to battle for the "Lil Brown Jug."
The two teams have been battling for the jug since 1922, and will face off in the 95th matchup this Saturday in the Hub City at 7 p.m.
Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, a Hattiesburg High graduate, and Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee, a Laurel graduate takes the rivalry personally.
"Mayor DuPree is a good fellow, he just doesn't pick football teams well, he always seems to pick the wrong team when it comes to the brown jug," Magee said.
The Tigers have defeated the Tornadoes for the past two years, getting to hang on to the jug.
"I don't have anything for Mayor Magee, I think we have proven what we can do, every year he comes out with all these little clichés and he talks about what they are going to do, but the proof is in the pudding, and that little jug has been sitting out there for the past two years," DuPree said. "They can talk smack, but we got the jug and we'll keep the jug."
Magee said this year the Tornadoes are a powerhouse, with the talent to back it up.
"I just hope that he doesn't go into any type of depression or anything after the game because I know how dedicated he is to the Hattiesburg Tigers, but the Tornadoes will be coming to Hattiesburg, we hope to leave a lot of destruction, and one thing we want to do is make sure that we bring the jug back with us," Magee said. "Mayor DuPree, please don't claim that the jug is locked in the office and you can't get in the office or anything like that."
From email taunting to inside jokes, both Magee and DuPree claim it is all in good fun.
"Hattiesburg and Laurel is no different, we love to see high school football whoever it happens to be, but this rivalry right here I mean it's a neighborhood rivalry, it's a community rivalry and it's all in good, clean fun," Magee said.
Laurel holds the edge in the series with 48 victories over Hattiesburg's 41, and five ties between the pair.
Mayor DuPree picks his Tigers to win 28-14, while Mayor Magee is banking on his Tornadoes winning 21-7.
"I know Mayor DuPree will cry a little bit after the game is over, you know, he keeps a handkerchief with him so that shouldn't be too much of a problem, but you know we wish him well after this game," Magee said.
"Our whole season is about one game, when it comes to Laurel," DuPree said. "Now you know we have those other people that we play, but our whole game, our whole season comes down to Laurel, and the 'Lil Brown Jug.'"