PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Last year, the Resurrection Eagles couldn't be stopped on their way to a 1A state championship appearance, winning 13 consecutive games while also recording eight shutouts during that streak.
The Nanih Waiya Warriors had lost five games and couldn't escape the second round of the postseason.
A year later, it's Nanih Waiya that appears to be the favorite, while Resurrection will need to play its best football in order to advance.
"They've got two big running threats," Resurrection head coach Scott Sisson said. "Our backside guys will need to stay home because they'll run the wildcat. We're going to have to stay home and play real disciplined on defense."
Juniors Taemaus Glass (1,335 yards, 24 TDs) and Chris Smith (859 yards, 20 TDs) helped lead Nanih Waiya (12-1) to a region 1-3A championship in the regular season.
On the positive side for the Eagles, they'll be the healthiest they've been all year.
"Practice gets a little more intense during the week," Resurrection junior offensive and defensive lineman Jackson Byrd said. "When playoffs come around, we have to be perfect in everything we do because it's either win or go home."
"This is the third day of practice this week and the guys seem really into it," Sisson said. "I couldn't be more pleased with their effort. They're having a good time and I'm seeing improvement each day. I think they understand the situation."
The winner will advance to play either Lumberton or Stringer.