GoW: Through The Air
When you have running backs like Petal’s Stephon Huderson and Hattiesburg’s Fabian Franklin, the passing game can often become an afterthought. However, both the Tigers and the Panthers have the players in place to beat teams through the air.
For Petal it will mainly be senior Tanner Estill.
Estill has done a little bit of everything for the Panthers over the past couple of seasons. In 2015 he was one of the top receivers in the area hauling in nearly 50 passes for over 800 yards. He also rushed for over 200 yards with six scores. He is now calling signals and although he only attempted a handful of passes a season ago, he has the tools to distribute the ball as needed.
It is worth noting that even with a 2,000-yard back in 2015, Petal still put the ball in the air over 300 times.
Don’t be surprised to see junior Jordan Wilson take a few snaps as well. Wilson is another great athlete that was able to rush for well over 300 yards as a sophomore.
For Hattiesburg it will be returning starter Julian Conner.
Conner has been the guy for the Tigers for a while now. He has thrown for nearly 4,000 yards and 40 scores as well as ran for 909 yards with 15 touchdowns. Even with a running back who is poised to explode this season, Conner will still put up massive numbers through the air. He returns his top three receivers in Jordan Murphy, Shakeenen West and Dandre Humbles. His running back also snagged 12 passes last season.
Conner can make all of the throws, has a load of experience and is surrounded by playmakers.
Both teams may find success in large chunks through the air this Saturday night as any defensive coordinator in his right mind will know that the majority of the focus will have to go to the running backs.