Player of the Week: Dillon Brown’s 181 yards rushing, 4 TDs leads Hattiesburg to 1st win

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 11:55 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Unfortunately, Hattiesburg knows the feeling of starting 0-4.

That’s how last year went before the Tigers won five of six to make the Class 5A playoffs. They’re hoping for a similar turnaround after Friday’s region 3-5A-opening win over Natchez.

“To have guys on the team that’s been here before,” said Hattiesburg head coach Tony Vance. “They’ve been through this process before, they understand the big picture. We’re in that slate of the season now where they matter. Our entire football team, they buy into that and they understand that and they went out Friday night and did what we had to do to go 1-0.”

Hattiesburg’s offense finally caught up to the defense on Friday.

Senior Dillon Brown scored four of the Tigers touchdowns, racking up 181 yards rushing on 22 carries.

Brown is a welcome revelation for a team riddled with injuries to start the year – down to its fourth-string quarterback by game No. 2.

“Our offense finally clicked as a group,” Brown said. “We actually bought in to what the coaches were saying. The offensive line and the wide receivers, they blocked great.”

“Great work ethic and just a terrific young man to be around,” Vance said. “He leads by example. He’s not one of those guys that’s going to do a whole lot of talking and definitely not going to do a lot of bragging. But he’s going to lead by example, he’s going to do things the right way and that’s the biggest thing I can tell you about Dillon. He’s just an all-around great young man.”

The Hattiesburg run game is going to see one of its bigger challenges when South Jones comes to town on Friday.

The Braves are led by longtime Laurel head coach Todd Breland, who Vance has grown quite familiar with over the years.

“I think their linebacker play and their defensive line – those guys, they jump out at you on film,” Vance said. “Those linebackers do a great job of reading their keys and stopping the run. With his offense, they’re going to do a lot of shifting and motions and try to get you out of position and attack where you’re not at. Just looking forward to, I think this will be our 14th or 15th time going up against each other in my ten years here.”

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