Brandon and Pearl also compete off the field - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Brandon and Pearl also compete off the field

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RANKIN COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A group of Brandon High School agricultural students have made about ten trips to Stonebridge Elementary School, collecting more than 22,000 dry food items from this school alone. In the past week they've made countless trips to the other Brandon schools.

"Every day for two blocks we do nothing but haul cans back and forth from schools," says Senior Jon Barrentine.

Stonebridge Principal Dr. Sue Townsend offers incentives like homework passes to encourage students to bring in those cans. "If they reached our goal, then on Monday the administration was going to wear their clothes backwards," she says.

The cans are brought straight to the high school, where they're boxed up and organized. "We'll know the winner tonight at the game," Barrentine says.

Last year's game was marred by vandalism at Pearl's new football field. Two Brandon High School seniors were charged with felony malicious mischief. But after they served in a pre-trial intervention program, the charges were dismissed.

Both schools have talked to their student bodies about vandalism this year. "We did leave a section of lights on last night so we wouldn't tempt anybody," Brandon High School Principal Buddy Bailey says, referring to the football field.

Last year, Pearl High School collected more food items than any other school in the state. "The Pearl Brandon game is a great tradition in our county. This has become a great tradition for our students," says Gina Morgigno, Counselor and Student Council Sponsor at Pearl High.

The Pearl Pirates wouldn't tell us how many cans they've collected this year, but they're determined not to sink their ship. "I'm excited about tonight, real proud of all the students at Pearl High School," says Pearl SGA President Bridgette Douglas.

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