SUMRALL, Miss. (WDAM) - Purvis High School rolled into Friday night’s region 7-4A opener against Stone with a three-game win streak and a ton of confidence.
The Tornadoes didn’t waver when the game was moved to Saturday morning at Pearl River Community College, jumping out to a 26-6 lead over the Tomcats.
And when Stone scored 20 unanswered points to take the game to overtime, Purvis remained unbothered, eventually pulling out a 42-40 win.
“They got a little resolve,” said Purvis head coach Brad Hankins. “In years past we may have laid down and not got that one. Stone’s got a heck of a football team and we had to fight for four quarters and then it took longer than that.”
It’s another victory in a string of four where the Tornadoes (4-3, 1-0 region) have looked like a completely different ball club than the one that began the year 0-3.
Sumrall head coach Shannon White has taken notice of his week eight opponent.
“They’re playing at a high level right now,” White said. “Their offense is hitting on cylinders, defensively they’re solid. They’re an impressive bunch, really are. They’re excited, you can tell the way they play. A lot of enthusiasm and a lot of confidence. I think confidence is the big thing.”
“Defensively I think we’ve played real well,” Hankins said. “I think our guys are getting after it and they’re starting to understand our schemes more and really just the effort that they’re showing on that side of the ball’s been big.”
The Bobcats (3-4, 0-1 region) are on quite the opposite trajectory – losing four of their last five games.
However, the “Battle of Highway 589” never seems to consider what either team’s record is.
"They've got a good football team,” Hankins said. “Coach White and his staff, they do a great job and they've got some really good football players. You can't overlook anybody on a Friday night because you can get your tail whipped in a hurry."
"I've been saying as long as I've been here, it's not a rivalry until you beat them,” White said. “Well we finally did beat ‘em last year so it's ramped up a lot since last year. It's everything a rivalry's supposed to be. A great community, they have a great school. It's just a good ole high school rivalry, that's for sure."
Sumrall hosts Purvis on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the region 7-4A contest.