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Cougars host Sumrall in huge region showdown

Whatever it takes to win.

That’s what coach Jesse Anderson wants to see out of his Lawrence County Cougars Friday night when they host Sumrall for homecoming in Monticello.

The Bobcats from Lamar County are 7-0 and have an Under Armour All-American at quarterback in Dannis Jackson. Jackson will line up at wide receiver in college, as he is committed to Ole Miss in football and baseball.

The Bobcats have not played as well on the road this season as they have at home. In week two they were nearly beaten at Wesson before escaping with an 18-15 win. Two weeks ago they traveled to Pass Christian and held off a one-win Pirate team 21-13.

With both teams still yet to play defending Region 7-4A champs Poplarville, this game has huge playoff seeding implications. Last season, the Bobcats beat Lawrence County 34-20.

The Cougars will count on their potent rushing attack that comes in averaging 319 yards per game. The four leading rushers for Lawrence County — Kylan Cooper, Antwan Pittman, Tae Cole and Perez Tyler — have combined for 1,780 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns this season.

The Cougar defense — led by top tacklers Jadarrius Grandberry, Jeremiah Sumrall, Jerome Dudley and Stefan Pierce — did not allow a single first down last week in a 51-0 blowout of Forrest County AHS.

Jackson leads the Sumrall offense with 776 yards rushing and seven touchdowns in 2018. The 6-foot-1, 165-pound athlete has also thrown for 663 yards and seven touchdowns while only tossing one interception. Tyrek Preston is the other Sumrall offensive threat, as he’s rushed for 729 yards and seven touchdowns thus far.

The Sumrall defensive front seven has good size and speed and has been strong against the run. However — not counting Wesson — Sumrall is unbeaten against teams that are a combined 12-27 this season.

“They’re a strong team all the way around,” said Anderson. “You’ve got to be willing to do whatever it takes to make the play on every possession in order to beat a good team.”

The presentation of the homecoming queen and court will take place prior to the game. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Story by Cliff Furr