Hattiesburg to face Pearl River Central in must win game

By JESSE JOHNSON,

The Hattiesburg Tigers find themselves in a must-win situation this week after suffering another division loss to Picayune 48-15.

With four games remaining in the season, the Tigers must win out to have any chance of post-season play.

Standing in their way this week is Pearl River Central. The Blue Devils are currently tied for third place in District 5A Region 4 (3-4).

The Tigers must have solid defensive play in hopes to contain the lethal running attack by the Blue Devils. Through seven games Pearl River has amassed 2,144 yards of rushing and 19 touchdowns for an average of 306 yards per game. Senior Detrich Spikes and junior Ty Herring have contributed a double dose of power in the backfield as they both have accounted for 1,679 of those yards and 14 touchdowns. Slowing the dynamic duo will be key for the Tigers to have any success Friday night.

Coach Tony Vance knows the importance of this game and the preparation the Tigers must have to salvage the season and finish out the year strong. Putting the ball into playmakers hands and creating more opportunities will be game strategies the Tigers will implement as they move forward.

“We are trying to get the ball to Rhyen Brisco in multiple looks on offense,” Vance said. “We think we can get him the football and be successful at it. This past week we had an opportunity to put him in the backfield and it worked out pretty good for us.”

Senior wide receiver Rhyen Brisco had 26 carries last week and totaled 197 yards with one rushing touchdown. Even though his production didn’t get many points, it did establish a much-needed running attack for the Tigers.

“We have a tough matchup this week,” Vance said. “They do a lot of the same things we saw this past week against Picayune, but with added misdirection. They will run a wing-T offense much like Jeff Davis. A lot of those packages are going to be tough to cover, so we have to make sure we are in the right places on defense and get to the ball fast. We are now in a position where we have to win the rest of these games and try to make the playoffs.”

Kickoff is set for 7 pm at Pearl River Central.