Sumrall, Purvis ready for battle of 589 as game is moved to Thursday.

By JESSE JOHNSON,

The Sumrall Bobcats will host the Purvis Tornadoes in a key district game Thursday evening and the Battle of 589. The Bobcats are 3-4 on the season and are looking to get things back on track with the home game. Losing to Greene County this past week, Coach Shannon White is focused on the task at hand.

“This is a huge rivalry game for us,” White said. “We tell our kids to worry about us and not the opponent. This matchup means a little bit more for us this week. We have two great communities. Our kids have friends on the Purvis team, so this makes the intensity exceed those of normal weeks.”

Purvis has been hot as of late, winning their last four games. Coach White’s take on the Tornadoes is nothing short of respect.

“Offensively they are really sharp,” White said. “They run a ton of different plays which creates matchups that are tough for opponents. They are really good at executing the offense and finishing out ball games. The offensive line is big and they just push around teams. This team has continued to show improvement. On the defensive side of the ball they are solid. They don’t give up big plays and they play really hard. That’s what you look for in teams. They are certainly a team heading in the right direction. It’s going to be a tough matchup and we look forward to the challenge.”

Purvis is coming off another key victory, marking its fourth victory in a row. Coach Brad Hankins is happy with his team’s direction and is focused on finishing the season out strong. The Tornadoes finished off Stone County in overtime this past week 42-40 in a rain-delayed game.

“Our team showed a lot of fight this past week,” Hankins said. “We have a lot of stuff to clean up and we have to correct those things going into this week’s matchup. Closing out close games shows our team we can play the entirety of the night. That helps us with confidence moving forward.”

Respect goes both ways with these two schools, and Hankins knows he will have to get his team ready to travel to Sumrall.

“Coach White and his staff do a great job at getting their team prepared,” Hankins said. “Their scheme from week to week is to be well prepared and their kids play really hard. Their record doesn’t show it, but they have a really good football team over there. With it being a rivalry game, this should be a great night for some good football. At the end of the day on Thursday, it’s going to be two good football teams getting after it. It’s going to come down to whoever makes the least amount of mistakes that is going to determine who is going to win the ball game in the end.

Last season the Bobcats won the rivalry game 35-7.