The Hattiesburg High offense this season has been something nightmares are made of for opposing coaches.
The undefeated Tigers, the consensus No. 1 team in the state regardless of classification, have run roughshod through their opponents this year with only one game — the season opener to Petal — being decided by less than a touchdown.
In 12 games, the Tigers are averaging 54 points per game and allowing an average of 14.5 points.
The Tigers are led by all-everything quarterback Jarod Conner, who has thrown for 2,119 yards and 23 touchdowns and leads the team with 1,496 yards and 26 touchdowns on the ground. Fellow senior Drexlan Allen has rushed for 1,224 yards and scored 18 touchdowns and the Tigers average 8.1 yards per rush.
Wide receiver Darius Ruffin has caught 51 passes for 1,088 yards and 13 touchdowns.
While the Hattiesburg offense has been virtually unstoppable, the Tigers have not seen a stop unit anything near the caliber of West Jones.
In the Mustangs’ 25-23 come-from-behind victory over Stone in the first round of the playoffs last Friday, the Tomcats scored on a 55-yard run with the other two touchdowns coming off an interception and a kick return.
West Jones held Stone to only a field goal in the second half and has been dominant on defense all year. West Jones has recorded 94 tackles for loss and 44.5 sacks, led by Byron Young’s 13 1/2 sacks, 25 1/2 tackles for loss, and Damion “Big Country” Cunningham’s 10.5 sacks. The Mustangs’ front four — a unit WJ coach Scott Pierson has called the best he has ever coached — have combined for 34 1/2 sacks.
The winner of this potential slugfest will play the Friday after Thanksgiving for the South State championship game against the winner of the Laurel-Picayune game.