Game Of The Week: Lumberton at Taylorsville
PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Mention small town football powers in this neck of the woods, and Taylorsville and Lumberton high schools long have had seats at the table.
The two squads are set to clash at 7 p.m. Friday in Round Two of the Class 1A playoffs.
“Taylorsville and Lumberton are kind of like mirror images of each other, so to speak.” Lumberton coach Jonathan Ladner said. “Two small towns that love football, love their programs and have great tradition.”
Last season, the two schools squared off as region foes.
The Tartars outplayed the Panthers, scoring 60 points in the process.
But Taylorsville head coach Seth McDonald said he was well aware that this year’s Lumberton squad has a new attitude.
“They’re a much improved team and have athletes all over the field.” McDonald said.
Taylorsville has had to overcome hurdles of its own this season. The Tartars started 1-5, but have since battled back, winning five games in a row to get to 6-5 and stay alive in the playoff race.
“I’m very pleased with the way that we’ve come along of late.” Said McDonald. “We were battle tested early. We had the toughest non-district schedule in the state of Mississippi I’d say.”
“Our guys survived the storm now, and are starting to reap the benefits of the harvest. They’re starting to put it together and it’s all about getting hot at the right time.”
At 7-4, Lumberton is embracing the challenge it faces on the road. The Panthers have worked to mitigate Taylorsville’s speedy offense.
“They’re embracing this great defensive mentality at Lumberton that Lumberton’s always had.” said Ladner. “In a place like this, you’re always gonna be good on defense because you have aggressive kids that love to run and tackle.
“I love this group of guys, and they’ve busted their tails to get to this point.”
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