Conner, Hattiesburg Carrying Chip on Shoulder in 2018
Photo courtesy of Zac Chamblee | Sports601.com
One of the state’s best dual-threat signal callers from a season ago, Jarod “Snoop” Conner, picked up right where he left off last Saturday night in the season opener for Hattiesburg.
Conner scored at least two touchdowns in all but one contest in 2017, en route to leading the Tigers to the 5A state championship game. He threw for 2,555 yards and 25 touchdowns, while rushing for another 1,443 yards and 28 scores.
Last Friday night he was up to his usual tricks in a 35-26 win over Petal. Conner threw for 158 yards and a score, and also rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns on his way to earning SES Mississippi Top Performer honors for week one.
“It was great getting back under the lights,” Conner told SES Mississippi. “I had fun out there even though the rain held us up for a little while. But it was exciting getting back out there for the first game of my senior year, and especially getting the win.”
This Friday night Hattiesburg plays host to rival Laurel, as they seek their fifth consecutive win in the battle for the Little Brown Jug.
This rivalry is marked by both the success that each program is able to reach year-in and year-out and also the desire to beat each other. In both 2015 and 2016 Hattiesburg won the regular season, only to fall to Laurel in the playoffs both seasons. It goes without saying, these two teams like to beat each other.
In two wins over Laurel last season Conner combined to throw for 230 yards and three scores, while rushing for 339 yards and two touchdowns. That included a playoff win in which he rushed for 255 yards and threw for two scores.
“This rivalry has been going for 97 years and it’s big time. It means a lot to the Hattiesburg fans and to the Laurel fans,” Conner explained. “Our expectations are to get the win and keep the Jug at Hattiesburg.”
As far as overall goals for the season, Conner and his teammates are clear on that.
“Win the state championship. That’s the main goal,” Conner said.
And perhaps the Tigers will have an extra push behind them this fall, as they came just a game from winning it all last December. After moving to 14-0 in dominating fashion, Hattiesburg faced their first adversity of the season when they fell to West Point in the 5A final.
“We’ve got a chip on our shoulder,” Conner stated. “Getting that close last year and coming up short makes us more hungry.”
Despite his second season manning the the controls at quarterback for one of 5A’s best programs, Conner has become know as one of the state’s most elusive and difficult-to-stop ball carriers. Perhaps some of his skills as a rusher can even be seen in his favorite player to watch, Le’Veon Bell.
“He’s versatile and he’s patient running the football,” Conner noted.