TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Tupelo High School faced South Panola in the North Half Championship Friday night.
"We're doing what a lot of teams want to be doing," said Tupelo Athletic Director Andy Schoggin. "And that's continuing the season. It's big to host the North Half Championship, and there's a lot of excitement in the town."
For Tupelo, it's the biggest game they've had since the early 1990s.
"This has been about 18 years since we've had something of this magnitude here at the high school," said Tupelo Sports Information Director Braden Bishop.
The last time Tupelo took home a state championship in football was 1992. South Panola, on the other hand, is no stranger to state titles.
Since the early 1990s, they have won 10 state championships.
"They've had a program that has established success," Schoggin said. "But they had to start somewhere, and that's the thing we're looking forward to tonight. This is our start to what we want to build as a program."
Marcus Mccoy was on the 1992 Tupelo team that won the championship, and to this day, he said he continues to support the Golden Wave.
It's very exciting," Mccoy said. "I'm proud to be a part of the '92 team, and I'm just pulling for the Golden Wave tonight. I'm hoping they can pull it through and make it to State."
Bishop said the most notable aspect of this season is community support. He said he hasn't seen the community this engaged with the program in years.
"That makes a really big impact on young people here, as well as adults who can reminisce, 'Oh, two decades ago I remember that team or I knew somebody or I was a part of that,' so I think that says loads of northeast Mississippi, specifically Tupelo," Bishop said.
The Golden Wave defeated South Panola on Friday 12-3.
They will face Oak Grove in the 6A state championship next Friday.