SUMRALL, MS (WDAM) - Poplarville got the best of Sumrall in a 56-3 win last season. But the Bobcats (5-3) are much improved in 2016 and ready for the challenge the Hornets (5-1) present Friday night.
"We're still a young team," said Sumrall head coach Shannon White. "We've only got nine seniors and we have 20 something sophomores. We probably start seven or eight sophomores defensively. So, we're still a young team but they're a year older. All those guys played last year. Got a great senior group."
One of those seniors is quarterback Rhett Harvey who has passed for over 2,000 yards, leads the Bobcats in rushing and is responsible for 32 of the team's 39 touchdowns.
Many of those scores have been through the air to five different receivers, with wide out Dannis Jackson hauling in 13.
"[Jackson]'s just at the right place at the right time, most of the time," Harvey said. "He's got good hands and we have a lot of good receivers too. Every quarterback wants to throw the ball around especially when you have good receivers to catch it and a good offensive line to block for him."
"I mean [Rhett]'s put in a lot of time," White said. "Our four receivers really have great chemistry with Rhett and it's the result of a long summer."
It's paid off for Sumrall, standing at 5-3 after finishing 3-8 last season. Friday night brings the Bobcats' biggest challenge in Poplarville since they fell to Purvis two weeks ago.
The Hornets have won five games in a row behind running backs Austin Bolton and Jesse Pernell who average a combined 254 yards a game. Both teams go into Friday averaging just over 35 points a game.
"We hope we score some points," White said. "[Poplarville's] hard to stop. I guess them and Purvis are just two offenses that will give you fits. They're really good. I don't think anyone runs a Wing-T better than Poplarville. Keeping them off the scoreboard is going to be impossible. So we're going to have to trade punches with them if we want to have a chance to win."