COLUMBIA, Miss. (WDAM) - In October 2001, two undefeated football teams met for what West Marion head coach Brad Duncan described as “the Super Bowl.”
“The biggest crowd that’s ever been in Foxworth,” Duncan said.
The Trojans (7-0) defeated Columbia (7-0) by the score of 12-7. The Wildcats returned the favor with a 26-22 win over West Marion later that season in the playoffs.
The 2001 regular season meeting was the last time West Marion and Columbia met as two unbeatens – until Thursday when the Trojans (8-0, 2-0 region 8-3A) visit the Wildcats (7-0, 2-0 region 8-3A) at 7 p.m.
"It's been a long time since this game has been so important, not only for the County championship but also for the division play,” Duncan said. “Our community's very very excited to be a part of this. I wish we were having it here because Columbia's going to make some money off this sucker. There's going to be a bunch of people there." "You know, this is what you work for all offseason is your district,” said second-year Columbia head coach Chip Bilderback. “Our number one goal's been to make the playoffs so this is our next opponent in line with that. When you throw in who it is, this is why we work so hard in the offseason is to be able to have a chance to win this game."
West Marion has allowed only 40 touchdowns all season while Columbia is averaging 44.8 points per game. Senior quarterback Jeremiah Holmes leads the Trojans with 972 yards passing and 15 total touchdowns.
Ole Miss commit Kentrel Bullock paces the Wildcats with over 1,000 yards rushing through seven games.
"Kentrel Bullock is like you said, one of the top backs in the state,” Duncan said. “When he turns that corner, you don't see people catch him. I don't think we can take that away completely. We want to limit their big plays though, if at all possible. Make them drive the football, maybe make them get impatient. If we can do that then we might have a chance at this thing."
“They play really hard, they get after it, they’re physical on defense,” Bilderback said. “They’re a typical 8-3A team, a team that’s what you expect is going to be physical up front and in all aspects of the game they’re physical. And they’re very well-coached so they don’t do a whole lot to beat themselves.”