BRANDON, MS (WLBT) - The rivalry between Brandon and Pearl is one of the fiercest in Mississippi. And they start them young.
“Grew up always hating Pearl,” says Brandon senior offensive lineman Jack Green. “From a little kid up until now, just never liking them. Always been our biggest rival, and you never want to see them succeed. Always want to beat them every time you can, too.”
Green and the Bulldogs have lost two straight to Pearl in the annual rivalry game, nicknamed ‘Eat Dirt’. The Pirates won last year’s game, 28-27 in overtime, en route to winning the 6A state championship.
“That was last year. They ain’t that team this year,” says Brandon senior wide receiver Jonathan Mingo. “So we’re going to go out there and dominate and show them who the best team in the state is this year.”
The rivalry runs so deep even Bulldogs head coach Tyler Peterson is questioning some of the library’s literary choices.
But just as important as bragging rights, Brandon wins the district title with a victory Friday night. That earns the Bulldogs a #1 seed in the 6A playoffs, and a chance to play at home for the first three rounds of the playoffs.
“Anytime you go through our region schedule, you know you’re going to play at least a couple of them twice,” says Peterson. “So to get them at your place instead of having to go on the road is a big deal.”
Mingo has one last message for Pearl.
“The team that loses is the one that eats dirt," says Mingo. “So we’re going to try and make them eat dirt this week.”
WLBT and Fox 40 will be at Pearl Friday with live previews of our Game of the Week at 5:00, 5:30, and 6:00. Tune in to the End Zone during the WLBT News at 10 for highlights and a live report, then Chuck Stinson will have a full recap on the Fox 40 SportsDeck at 11.