Following last week’s defeat against West Laurens, the Bulldogs again find themselves facing an old region rival. The series between Mary Persons and Perry goes all the way back to 1958, making it one of the longest-running HS rivalries in the state. This will mark the 36th all-time matchup between the two schools, in a series led by the Bulldogs 27 – 8. If Mary Persons wishes to have any shot at the region title, they’ll have to find a way to combat the Panthers this Friday.
Mary Persons is now 2–1 in region play. Last week’s defeat was their first region loss since 2014, breaking a 23-game winning streak. In the eight games played so far, the Bulldogs are averaging 26 points per game on offense and allowing 31.25 on defense. This has undeniably been a rebuilding year for MP, with a lot of young inexperienced guys on their roster. A few standout players include their freshman QB #16 Logan Hickman, senior Wide-Receiver #5 Malik Harris, and senior Running-Back #22 Enrico Harden. The team is led by 8th-year head coach Brian Nelson.
Perry comes into this game following a 38-0 region home win against the Spalding Jaguars. The team is currently 5-3 overall and 3-0 in region play. So far, the Panthers have averaged 25 ppg on offense and allowed 18.63 on D. The team is led by coach Kevin Smith, who’s now in his 3rd year with the program.
The game will take place at Perry’s home stadium in Monroe Co. Perry’s last win against MP occurred in 2010 and their last home victory was all the way back in 1998. The Panthers, who have long been dominated by MP, will be looking to enact some payback now that MP is relatively weak. A Perry win will eliminate the Bulldogs from region contention and set up the Panthers for a two-team region showdown against West Laurens. A MP win wouldn’t eliminate Perry but could result in a three-way tie for region-title. While it seems Perry is the favorite to win, MP certainly isn’t ready to roll over and die. This game will likely go down to the final buzzer and will certainly be worth showing up for.