PURVIS, Miss. (WDAM) _ After five football games this fall, Purvis High School has as many wins as it recorded during a full, 10-game slate in 2018.
With a rugged Seminary High School team rolling into town at 7 p.m. Friday, Purvis coach Brad Hankins said he knows picking up a third win Friday night would mark the next step in his young team’s maturation process.
“We’re getting some guys back that we were missing early,” Hankins said. “We’ve had some breaks go our way, and we’ve kind of taken care of the football the past two weeks, which is huge.
“But that bunch from Seminary, they’ve got some really good players, but from top to bottom, they’re going to get after it.”
Coming off their first loss of the season, the Bulldogs (4-1) bounced back last Friday with a 21-14 victory over Raleigh High School.
Three of Seminary’s victories have come by less than 10 points, and a 20-0 victory over Sumrall came the first week after the Bobcats lost their starting quarterback.
But blue-collar has worked well for the Bulldogs, who rely on a running game that has averaged 212.2 yards a game. Seminary has scored 13 touchdowns in five games _ including a fumble return for a score _ but the Bulldogs’ defense has come with 16 takeaways (eight interceptions, eight fumble recoveries) and their special teams’ have blocked two punts.
Senior Jordan Barrett leads the Bulldogs with 489 yards and four touchdowns rushing, with junior Jabori Potts adding 102 yards and two scores and senior P.D. Youngblood chipping in 104 yards and a touchdown.
“They believe in what they’re preaching, and (Coach Brian Rials) has got them going, that’s for sure,” Hankins said.
Just as Hankins has the Tornadoes (2-3) back in the victory column.
After opening the season with three, consecutive losses the Tornadoes claimed a 27-8 victory over Perry Central High School before topping Northeast Jones High School 34-10 this past Friday.
In those two games, sophomore Ty Badon has rushed for 246 yards and three touchdowns after returning from an early-season injury. On the season, Badon has run for 350 yards on 54 carries.
Like the Bulldogs, the Tornadoes rely on a ground game to power their offense.
Junior Kade Sherrill has rushed for 323 and two touchdowns on 37 carries, while junior quarterback Hunter Robinson has run for 139 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries.