Game Of The Week: Laurel at Wayne County

Game of the Week: Laurel at Wayne County.
Published: Oct. 27, 2023 at 1:15 AM CDT
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WAYNESBORO, Miss. (WDAM) - Wayne County High School has its collective back against the wall as the War Eagles fight for a playoff spot in Region 4-5A..

Laurel High School will be in Wayne County’s way Friday night.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Wayne County High School.

After a shaky 1-5 start to begin the season, the Golden Tornadoes have gone unbeaten in region play.

“We’ve just been able to put all three phases of the game together in the last couple of weeks, whether it’s offense, defense, or special teams,” Laurel coach Ryan Earnest said. “We’ve been able to control the line of scrimmage. Guys on the perimeter are making big plays, and our defense is getting good stops when we need them.”

“It’s a totally new season. We’re fortunate to be where we are at 3-0 (in the region) in first place, controlling our own destiny.”

Meanwhile, for Wayne County, the mission is loud and clear. Win out in the final two games of the year, and punch a ticket to the playoffs.

“We didn’t get to show people how we really are in the beginning of the season.” Wayne County senior receiver Sam Williams said. “Now, we get a chance to show them. We caught on late, but I’m excited. I can’t sleep at night I’m so excited.”

War Eagles coach Jack Hankins is leading his group through the challenge.

“We still control our own destiny.” Hankins said. “When it gets tough like this guys stick together or pull apart. They’ve come together and rallied around each other.

“We’ve had some bad luck along the way, but they’ve done a good job of rallying around each other and playing tough football.”

Postseason and region logistics aside, this long-time rivalry always means a bit more on each team’s schedule than just the next game.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to coach on both sides, so I know what it means for both sides.” Earnest said. “When you talk about Wayne County and Laurel, you can throw the records out the book.

“They’re gonna get up and give us their absolute best shot, and we’re gonna do the same.”

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