A Century of the Lil’ Brown Jug

A Century of the Little Brown Jug
Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 11:39 PM CDT
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) -It’s a game that has been a century in the making as Hattiesburg and Laurel play for the Little Brown Jug for the 100th time.

“One hundred years of history. It’s something I tell each class every year, you’ll look back on,” Hattiesburg head coach Tony Vance said.

“This game has survived Hurricane Camille, Hurricane Katrina. It survived two wars and it’s always been played,” Laurel head coach Ryan Earnest said. “It means a lot to our community as well as the Hattiesburg community .”

Not only does this game mean a great deal to both communities, but it has shaped their views of football.

“It was the earliest experience I really had with football and big-time football,” Earnest said. “I didn’t watch a lot of NFL football as a young child, I didn’t watch college football, and so, my earliest football memories all stem from Laurel football and the Little Brown Jug.”

“I can say that I’ve been waiting to play in this game since I was in about the fifth grade. That’s every kid’s dream in Laurel,” Laurel running back Kiron Benjamin said.

While this game has great tradition and history, it’s also a huge region matchup with playoff implications.

“It’s going to be a big game deciding the district [region], playoffs and I feel like whoever wins this game is going to go deep into the playoffs, most likely be in state,” Hattiesburg wide receiver and cornerback Jack Jackson said.

“A win would be very very big for both sides. I know they’re going to bring their absolute best so we’re going to have to do the same because again it has tremendous playoff implications,” Earnest said.

Last week against West Jones, the Tiger defense forced three turnovers in the second half to seal the game but they’ll face a great challenge on Saturday.

“Coach Earnest is one of the best offensive mind coaches in the state of Mississippi,” Vance said. “I know he’s going to come up with a scheme to try and put points on the board. Whether that’s running the football or throwing the football, he’s very, very crafty.”

“We can’t have turnovers,” Benjamin said. “Turnovers, they have a chance. No turnovers and I don’t think they have a chance.”

After going through a few different quarterbacks at the beginning of the season, Hattiesburg finally found the right man under center in Tavares Wade.

“You don’t stop a kid like that,” Earnest said., “He’s a great football player, very young football player, extremely talented football player, so the goal is not necessarily to stop him but to just try to limit the big plays that he’s capable of making.”

Kickoff is set for 7 pm on Saturday at Laurel High School.

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