HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - It wasn't looking good for Laurel last week in its south state final game last Friday at Picayune. At one point down 20-3 in the first half, the Tornadoes scored 35 unanswered points to come away with a 45-27 win.
What did Laurel coach Todd Breland learn from this epic comeback?
"What we already know," Breland said. "They don't quit. It doesn't matter what the situation is. They're never going to fold up. They're going to keep fighting and grinding and they do it for each other."
Senior defensive lineman Darius Townsend said it all came down to belief.
"We said we're going to come together," Townsend said. "The score said something else but we all kept believing in what we can do. So we just did what we had to do."
The Tornadoes haven't lost since falling to Hattiesburg in August. Still, the road to the Class 5A state title game hasn't been smooth sailing. Three points was all that separated them and the Tigers in the rematch a couple weeks ago.
"Every season has a story," Breland said. "We certainly have had our share of adversity this year but it's like any other season. The good football teams overcome it and plow through it. This bunch is no exception. It's one of the most special teams I've ever coached. The things they have been through, they still compete for each other on Friday night."
Added Townsend, "Well hard work number one. Staying together. Unity. We always say where there is unity there is strength. We always say a prayer that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We believe in that so that keeps us all together."
Awaiting Laurel Saturday in Starkville is West Point. The Green Wave have also tasted defeated just once this year.
"If you ever seen West Point play they're West Point," Breland said. "They do what they do. They're a big, physical football team. Good speed. So well coached. They've been knocking on the door the last couple of years. They couldn't get through Oxford. But they've kicked the door in and they're back in the game. I think it's the first time since 2010."
"I been there," senior offensive lineman D'Anthony Page said. "I'm coming in with the most confidence. We going to get a win. We're not going to play around."
The Tornadoes aren't playing around and they're not switching anything up.
"Success breeds success.," Breland said "Our kids believe they can beat anybody and they prepare the same every week. We're doing the same thing this week that we have all year."