Despite an incident at the end of the game that led to a delay, Hattiesburg took home the Lil Brown Jug for the fifth year in a row.
“I have tremendous respect for Coach Breland and his football team and what they are about,” Hattiesburg head coach Tony Vance said. “That’s the thing with this rivalry, it’s a friendly rivalry. When these two teams get together it’s going to be a great ball game. To win the jug for a fifth straight time is huge for our city and our community.”
The biggest concern for Hattiesburg was stopping the run after Petal found much success on the ground last week. Laurel entered the game having run for over 350 yards in their week one opener. However, the Tigers flipped the script this week, as senior quarterback Jarod Conner alone ran for over 250 yards and totaled over 350 yards of total offense and four rushing touchdowns.
Laurel opened the game by stopping Hattiesburg inside their red zone and put together a drive that led to Laurel’s running back Sinclair Ulmer ran for a 22-yard touchdown run to take their only lead of the night at 7-0.
Hattiesburg responded quickly as Conner tied the game on a 16-yard touchdown run. In the second quarter, Hattiesburg senior defensive back Tadrian Leflore intercepted the ball and set up senior running back Drexlan Allen’s 10-yard touchdown run, which put the Tigers up 14-7 at halftime.
“Huge interception by [Tadrian] Laflore right there,” Vance said. “Just big plays from different players tonight when it mattered. Big sacks right there at the end. A lot of guys stepped up.”
Laurel fumbled to start the second half, and on the next play Allen took the ball to the Laurel one-yard line and set up another Conner touchdown run. Laurel then drove down the field and scored on a one-yard touchdown run by running back Zias Perryman.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Conner found the end zone again on a four-yard touchdown run. Laurel again drove downfield with 7:55 left and scored on a 16-yard touchdown run by Michael Terrell to cut the game to 28-20.
However, Hattiesburg responded as senior Jarius McFarland scored on the following kickoff 78 yards out to kill all of Laurel’s momentum.
During the final two minutes of play, a disturbance occurred that caused a panic, which led to players and fans from both teams to clear the stadium
“A restroom door slammed in the stadium,” Vance said. “People panicked so it kind of led to the end zone. Much ado about nothing.”
Nonetheless, play resumed and Conner managed to finish the night with another touchdown run from 19 yards out with a minute left in the game.
“I can’t find words to describe the young man [Conner], he’s a winner,” Vance said. “He did the things it took to get us first downs and get us in the end zone.”