Revived rivalry begins a season to surely remember

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 17, 2017

The upcoming spectacle under the field lights Friday night has stirred a mighty storm lately. This year football got a little more interesting in Pearl River County as a long-time rivalry has been revived; Picayune versus Poplarville.

The last time these two powerhouses met on the gridiron was in the early 2000s, ending in the Maroon Tide’s favor. But in order to recall the most recent game in which Poplarville got the best of Picayune, we would have to take a trip back to 1975. The score of the game was 6-2.

In the same year of the Hornets’ latest victory against the Tide, the Vietnam War had just ended; Bruce Springsteen released his most popular album, Born to Run; gas was .44 cents per gallon; and Muhammad Ali beat Joe Frazier in the “Thrilla In Manila” match.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

It’s a match up like no other and will lend the attention of the entire state of Mississippi as one of the most anticipated season-openers in recent history.

The teams are coming off two noble seasons, both ending 12-2 and winning their respective division. Both teams have a decent number of returning players, so Friday night will not lack talent, but it will lack one thing, open seating.

As I walked through both cities during, and after, the season last year, I heard lots of banter about who would beat who if the two sides ever met. Well, now we can put aside the what-ifs, and look to Friday night for the answer.

Even though the players and coaches won’t show it, emotion will play a huge factor in Friday night’s bout. And as if the game couldn’t get any more interesting, when the Maroon Tide last lost to the Hornets, Picayune’s head coach Dodd Lee was wearing a helmet and pads as a senior Tide player.

Picayune’s team will do everything it can to make sure the coach doesn’t go through another loss to the Hornets. Meanwhile, Poplarville has plans to end the drought. See you under the lights in Poplarville.