The Trojans, at 12-0, won last week’s first round game with Kossuth 44-22, while Water Valley, at 10-2, won last week’s first round game with North Panola 44-22.
This game is also a rematch of last year’s third round game when East Side defeated Water Valley 32-27.
Water Valley is in the state playoffs for the 20th time in its history, while East Side is in its 15th postseason appearance.
Both teams do a great job running the football. The Trojans have averaged 302.1 rushing yards per game with an average of eight yards a carry, while the Blue Devils, heading into last week’s first round game, were averaging 257 rushing yards per game with a 7-yard a carry average.
“We’re mirror images of each other,” East Side head football coach Roger Burton said. ”Their best play is our best play. It’s going to come down to heart, and who wants it the most and who doesn’t take a play off. It’s like a North State game in the second round.”
East Side’s offense has been led by junior running back Quadre Butler as he has rushed for 1,638 yards with 14 touchdowns on 213 carries. Senior wide receiver Brandt Williams has been a solid wideout for the Trojans by catching 21 passes for 331 yards with seven touchdowns.
On defense for East Side, senior linebacker Michael Hurns (140 tackles, 3 sacks), sophomore Paddarius Bronner (7 interceptions) and junior defensive lineman Edgar Eatmon (87 tackles, 4 sacks) have led the team. East Side’s defense has surrendered an average of 17.9 points a game.
The Blue Devils offense is led by quarterback E J Bounds, who has completed 35-of-75 passes for 631 yards with seven touchdown passes and an interception and rushed for 565 yards with 11 touchdowns on 91 carries. Sophomore running back Brandon Bounds (88 carries, 668 yards, 8 TDs) and senior running back Jeoffrey Gordon (98 carries, 616 yards, 4 TDs) have also anchored the ground game.
On defense for Water Valley, junior linebacker Cortaveus Hawkins (85 tackles, 10 sacks) and senior linebacker Quinterrio Bailey (159 tackles, 7 sacks) have spearheaded the team. Water Valley’s defense has surrendered an average of 14.1 points per contest.
The winner of the East Side-Water Valley game will take on the winner of the Booneville-Byhalia game next week in the third round.
Kickoff on Friday is set for 7 p.m.