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Lawrence County Cougars take on top region team

Most probably wouldn’t have picked the Lawrence County Cougars to be in the position they are in now at the start of the season.

Coming off an 0-5 division record in 2017, the Cougars (7-3) have done a complete 180, as they travel to Poplarville Friday night to take on the homestanding Hornets (8-1).

Lawrence County and first-year head coach Jesse Anderson lost their first region game last week 41-20 to Greene County. Even so, the Cougars can win the region with a victory tonight against Poplarville. With the other top teams in the division — Sumrall and Greene County — also playing tonight, the Cougars will end up as the three or four seed if they lose.

To take the top spot the Cougars will have to do something that no Region 7-4A team has done since 2015 — beat Poplarville.

The Hornets are like the Cougars in that they use a power rushing attack offensively. Poplarville averages 318 yards rushing per game and, like the Cougars, they have at least four primary ball carriers.

Poplarville lost 28-20 to Picayune in their season-opener and have won eight games in a row since. Last season, the Hornets beat Lawrence County 58-20 in Monticello. The 2017 Poplarville team made it to the south state finals, where they lost 52-45 to East Central. In 2016, the Hornets lost 27-12 to Lafayette County in the 4A championship game.

Kickoff between the Hornets and Cougars is set for 7 p.m. in Poplarville.

Story by Cliff Furr