Mitch Evans lived the Tartar dream as a kid now he is doing it as the Tartar's head coach.
"It's just a dream come true. Since I was a player, I always looked up to coach (Marcus) Boyles. To have the opportunity to come back here to be the head coach is just a dream come true," said Taylorsville head coach Mitch Evans reflecting on his young career.
Petal head coach Marcus Boyes is arguably one of the best high school football coaches in Mississippi history. A young Mitch Evans helped kick-start that coaching career as an undersized quarterback for the Tartars. Evan's coaching career is off to a hot start. He just won his second straight South State Championship in his first two years as a head coach with a 14-6 victory over the Scott Central Rebels.
The Taylorsville Tartars did not get a ride on easy street in their last homestand of 2019. Scott Central came within one score of putting this game into overtime.
"It was hard-fought, man. I knew it would be a dogfight. It's hard to get 15 to 16-year-old kids to understand it because we did handle them pretty good at their place earlier in the year, but I'm very proud of my team," reflected Evans on their victory over the Scott Central Rebels.
The Rebels may not have won the game, but they dictated the flow of the game especially in the first half. They hogged the clock and picked up the necessary first downs to keep the game tied at 0-0 at halftime.
The Tartars simply could not capitalize on the first-half opportunities.
They had a 35-yard touchdown pass called back, an easy touchdown catch off a flea-flicker, a missed tackle on safety, and a turnover on downs near the goal line.
"The first half we were kind of jumpy and nervous. Things didn't go our way the first half," noted Evans.
In the second half, the Tartars took advantage of some Rebel turnovers, and they did it with some impressive ground and pound led by Jeffery Pittman. Pitman scored both touchdowns for Taylorsville and led the Tartars to their third straight South State Championship.
Taylorsville looks to be an easy pick for state championship number seven but let's not overlook the school that hardly anyone knows about, Northside Gators. They have had a total of five touchdowns scored on them all season, and the Gators are one of only two undefeated teams in the state.
Coach Evans is not reading friendly predictions. He knows the Gator defense is no joke.
"What...they gave us 5 touchdowns all year? They talk about a weak schedule, but if you give up just five touchdowns, I don't care who you play or who you are. That's pretty dang good," said Evans.
Evans gets to walk in the footsteps of one of his great mentor, Boyles, on the Southern Miss sidelines. He gets to do it with a team full of weapons, especially one of the greatest quarterbacks in the country, Ty Keyes. It is easy to expect Keyes and that stingy Tartar defense be enough to win the big one, but Evans was reminded of a lesson he learned from his old ball coach, "Coach Boyles always coached me that good teams can run the ball in November."
The Tartars will need every trick in the hat to score avoid this nasty Gator defense.