NEW AUGUSTA, MS (WDAM) - Chip Bilderback and Chuck Maxie may be in their first seasons as head coaches at their respective high schools.
But since their arrivals in June, both have been made aware of the stakes when Perry Central and Richton meet at 7 p.m. Friday in their annual cross-county throwdown.
The Class 3A Bulldogs (1-1) and Class 2A Rebels (0-2) meet at 7 p.m.
"I've been told since I got here that this is the one game you don't have to worry about getting (the players) up for," Maxie said, who was defensive coordinator at Collins before assuming the reins at Richton. "They'll be ready for Perry Central. On the other side of the coin, I know Perry Central will be ready for this game, too."
The two teams have collected just one win between them during the first two weeks of the high school season.
Class 3A Perry Central (1-1) opened the season with a 33-22 win over Lumberton before falling last week 39-14 to Presbyterian Christian.
Class 2A Richton (0-2), which boasts just five seniors, has gone through early-week growing pains, dropping a 41-0 decision in the season opener at South Jones and a 56-18 result to Enterprise last week.
Bilderback, who was safeties coach/recording coordinator at Jones County Junior College before taking over at Perry Central, said he is all but certain his Bulldogs will get the best shot the Rebels can deliver.
"Records go out the window in rivalry games," he said. "We're going to get a team that's gotten better every week and is going to come in and play hard."
Both teams will want to establish the run on offense while playing a physical brand of defense.
The Bulldogs have been sparked by Chris Sumrall, who has run for 145 yards and three touchdowns in two games. McKail Sumrall has more than 200 yards rushing/receiving, while George Bolton has scored three touchdowns.
"They've got really good athletes over there," Maxie said. "They've got speed and they play with really good intensity. They're really well-coached."
Richton has gotten 104 yards rushing from Za'darius Mitchell in the first two games, while junior quarterback Kyle Earwood completed 11 of 21 passes for 119 yards and touchdown tosses to Mitchell and Kobly Walley against Enterprise.
Bilderback said when he looks at the Rebels, he sees a young team coming.
"With young teams, you see the improvement is just so great week to week," he said. "They're going to come in here and play hard and consistently get better. But our focus has to be on (ourselves) right now. "
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