Forrest County AHS has had Purvis’ number in the last several meetings between the two teams, but that could change on Oct. 30. The two rivals will square off with the Region 7-4A title on the line.
“The atmosphere will be great,” FCAHS head coach Lee Sullivan said. “We’re rivals. Our kids get up for them and they get up for us. We have played each other for years and both stands will be packed. But there’s even more on the line with the district title and all that.”
Both teams have hit their strides recently, with Purvis (5-4, 4-0) nailing down a four-game win streak while FCAHS (4-5, 3-1) has thee straight victories as well.
Purvis head coach Perry Wheat knew his team would find its footing after a tough schedule early on.
“We played some tough teams and lost some close games early,” Wheat said. “But I knew if our guys would hang tight, that we would find our way and our identity. We had a lot of new faces and now they’re settled down and have been gaining confidence since we hit district play.”
And find their identity they did, as the Tornadoes have lowered their shoulders en route to an undefeated region record behind a massive offensive line and a powerful rushing attack. The Tornadoes average 223 yards per game on the ground, and as a team, they average six yards per carry – one of the highest averages in Region 4A.
While FCAHS’ defense is quick and runs to the ball well, it could end up showing some weakness against the hulking and powerful rushing attack of Purvis. The Aggies will have to hold the line of scrimmage in order to slow down Purvis.
However, the Purvis offense is not what’s keeping Sullivan up late at night.
“Their defense is just fantastic,” Sullivan said. “We’ve played against Bassfield and West Marion, who both have great defenses, and I would put Purvis up there with those defenses. They have a dominant front four and great linebackers.”
On the flip side, Wheat said FCAHS does the one thing that his defense is weak against and that the two have different styles on offense.
“They can throw it around a little bit,” Wheat said. “They like to run too, but they are very good when they throw it. They’re going to keep us on our toes all game long. They’re very balanced. We like to run it and they do too, but they will sling it around a lot more than we will.”
“Not just the players, but us coaches as well were learning a new offense and we struggled with it earlier in the year,” Sullivan said. “But now we have things under control and we seem to be clicking on offense. We like to run it, but we can throw it too.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Purvis.