Photo/James Pugh

Laurel’s overtime win over West Jones in Week 9 was precisely what it needed to set in motion its fourth claim to the Region 3-5A title in five years. After the game, head coach Todd Breland knew the title was theirs for the taking, of course barring something crazy and unforeseen. 

Last Friday night in Week 10, Laurel avoided ‘crazy and unforeseen’ with a solid 48-0 win over region foe Forest Hill. 

Several players stood out to Breland in the win, including sophomore Dexter Scott and junior William Mora.

“It was good to go up to Jackson and notch another division win,” said Breland. “It was an excellent opportunity to get some guys reps who have been working hard at practice. 

“We started a sophomore quarterback Dexter Scott. Both Xavier Evans and Sinclair Ulmer had some injuries from the week before, so we held them out. Dexter when in and did a great job. He didn’t wow us with numbers, but he didn’t put us in a bad situation ever. He completed some passes and even threw a touchdown pass. He did well for us.”

Scott finished his first start and complete game with seven completions on 11 attempts for 99 yards. Mora, Laurel’s junior kicker, was 7-of-7 on PAT attempts and 1-for-1 on field goal attempts.

But the best stat line of the night went to Laurel senior running back Zias Perryman. Perryman rushed for 185 yards on 11 carries and found the end zone three times.  

“He brought what he usually brings with physicality and speed,” said Breland. “He was able to push us out front early.”

Perryman said it was a fun night.

“It was the best game I’ve had all year,” Perryman added. “I believe as a team we prepared well for Forest Hill. We worked on making ourselves better too.”

As the team’s leading rusher, Perryman has racked up 744 yards on 81 carries and 12 rushing touchdowns. His average carry is 9.2 yards, tied only as the best with sophomore quarterback Xavier Evans. 

His performance last Friday night vs. Forest Hill earns Perryman the honor of this week’s Sports601 Powerade Player of the Week (Week 10).

Jeremiah Henderson, T.J. Jones and Jerome Caldwell also scored touchdowns in the win.

“We’ve had a lot of challenges this year with injuries and off the field issues,” said Breland. “We’ve worked through that though. It’s caused us to play multiple different looks with multiple personnel. I think our kids have handled that well.”

Laurel plays North Pike Friday night ‘Between the Bricks’ at R.H. Watkins Stadium. A Laurel win will mean yet another Region 3-5A title – they’re fourth in five years.