No. 2 Hattiesburg Tigers
Head Coach: Tony Vance
2017 Record: 14-1 (Class 5A Runner-up)
Starters Returning: Offense: 5 Defense: 3
Players to Watch: QB Jarod Conner; RB Drexlan Allen; WR Darius Ruffin; OL Demetrius Allen; DB Hakeem Vance; DB Tadrian Leflore; LB Ra’Sheim Jordan; DE Jaren Handy; DL Chris Turner; SS George Murry; DB Jadarius Perkins.
Coach Speak: “It is huge for us to build off the momentum last year and hopefully be better than 14-1. We’ve got a chance to be a good football team and it starts with our quarterback Jarod Conner. He’s had one heck of an offseason and will be one of the leaders of the team. We will definitely have a lot of young guys playing early and will need to establish depth,” Vance said.
Outlook: The Tigers are coming off one historic season that saw Hattiesburg playing for state championship for the first time since 1998. Jarod Conner returns at quarterback after tossing for 2,555 yards with 25 touchdowns and also rushed for 1,443 yards and 28 touchdowns. Drexlan Allen returns at running back and Darius Ruffin returns at wide receiver to help carry the offense that averaged 46 points a game last year. Defensively the Tigers got a big boost when defensive end Jaren Handy transferred in from Perry Central to help boost the defensive line and Lewisburg transfer Hakeem Vance comes into help lead the second for a defense that had just three starters back from last year in Ra’Sheim Jordan, George Murry and Tadrian Leflore.
Season Opener: Aug. 18 vs. Petal