The expectation in Pearl before the season kicked off was to play deep in November. The Pirates are one win away from playing once again in December.
"Since we lost last year, that's been our main goal," said senior quarterback Jake Smithhart. "Main focus is to get back to the state championship and win it. We've really gotten better at communicating, getting better as a team. Beginning of the year, we really struggled just finding our offensive rhythm, scoring a lot. Now we've really gotten it going."
Standing in the way is Meridian. The Pirates beat them 34 - 12 back in September. But they say a different group of Cats are coming to town on Friday.
"They're a lot better right now, they're on a 5 game winning streak," said head coach John Perry. "They're playing really well with a lot of confidence. They've gotten better all the way around. It'll be a good game for sure."
Tylan Knight added "we find something every week to get going. Us playing Meridian again, they tried to fight us last time we played. So we're going to use that as a sparking point to get us going. We're going to play off of that. And then everybody rally to the ball, do what we do on defense and we'll be fine."
Pearl's high powered offense has been in the spotlight. Their defense is just as stellar, allowing just 2 touchdowns in the playoffs.
"You know, cutting down on mistakes," Perry said. "We've went out there and played really hard every Friday night. We started the year making mistakes here and there, and we've cut down on turnovers and the mental errors people can make. We've played really sound football."
Pearl hosts Meridian Friday night at 7:00pm in the 6A South State Championship.
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