HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Ask various observers of Sumrall High School about the last time the Bobcats had started a football season by winning their first five games and one is liable to get a puzzled look followed by variety of answers.
Some say 1988. Some can’t pin down a date, but definitely insist Nevil Barr was on the Sumrall sideline at the time.
At any rate, the Bobcats made the point moot because Friday night marked the most recent time Sumrall reached that level of football success.
Senior running back Tyrek Preston ran for two touchdowns and senior quarterback Dannis Jackson ran for one and threw for another as Sumrall topped Richton High School 33-20.
“You can’t get better than 5-0 if you play five games, so we’re happy with that,” Sumrall coach Shannon White said. “So, we’re good, we’re good. Proud of our guys and our coaches.”
Sumrall (5-0) scored on its first possession, with Jackson connecting with Tyler Daniels for a 9-yard touchdown pass and a 7-0 lead.
A 16-yard return of a short punt set the Bobcats up at Richton’s 36-yard line, and Preston capped the three-play drive with a 5-yard scoring run and a 13-0 lead.
But just when it appeared Richton (3-2) might be in for a long night, the Rebels rose up.
Senior running back D.D. Griffin collected 49 yards on two runs, and junior quarterback Dylan Favre found senior Zach Mills with a 24-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 13-7.
Jackson broke a 38-yard run, hurtling one would-be tackler, then scrambled 14 yards for a touchdown plays later to push the Bobcats lead to 19-7 at the end of the first quarter, but Favre would score early in the second quarter on a 3-yard run to get the Richton back within 19-14.
“I think the first half was definitely the kind of ballgame I thought it would be because I knew it was going to go back and forth,” Richton coach Stephen Rice said. “I think both of us have high-octane offenses.”
But Sumrall answered again, with Preston banging over from the 1-yard line and Jackson running in a 2-point conversion for a 27-14 halftime lead.
The teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Sumrall junior running back Carson Duck scored on a 4-yard run for the Bobcats before Favre found senior Connor Graham with an 8-yard touchdown pass.
Sumrall will travel to Pass Christian High School Friday, while Richton will host Clarkdale High School for homecoming Friday.