Hattiesburg Looks to Defend "Little Brown Jug" - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Hattiesburg Looks to Defend "Little Brown Jug"

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The Hattiesburg Tigers look to maintain bragging rights in Mississippi's most historic high school football rivalry.

When it comes to the "Little Brown Jug", Hattiesburg and Laurel make no excuses.

"I know it's a game that's going to be played regardless," says Hattiesburg High School head football coach Tony Vance. "They played even during World War II and Hurricane Katrina so it's a game that we know has a great deal of meaning to both communities.

For a first-year coach, Vance understands the stakes.

"We know it's the 92nd year that they've played for the 'Little Brown Jug' so it's a big game."

Vance spent the last five years coaching at Charleston.

Hattiesburg defeated Laurel four times over that span, including a 38-0 shutout victory last season.

"We leave Laurel's team in the past last year - we leave them in the past and we focus on them this year," says Hattiesburg High School senior punter Khalil Pope. "We know they have a better team this year, and we have a better team too and we plan on showing it so we can worry about what happened last year - just this year."

Hattiesburg enters this year's contest 0-1, coming off a 21-0 road loss to Petal.

But Pope stresses the importance of a short memory.

"That's not even in my mind," says Pope. "It hurt last week but that's in the past. We work harder this week so that we can get ready for this game. We have to keep our jug - that's our focus right now."

To notch that 41st win in the all-time series, Pope says the Tigers need to give 100 percent - and then some.

"We look to continue to just give endless effort," says Pope. "That's what coach teaches us and that's what he helps me to absorb to give endless effort all the time, and just to put it all out on the field once again."

Sounds like a pretty fitting way to end a career against the Golden Tornados.

"Three years and doing this, and now it's time to give it all up senior year and give it all to Hattiesburg," says Pope.

Hattiesburg and Laurel kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday at Watkins Stadium in Laurel.

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