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Sully Says: PA and McClellan rematch

PA vs McClellan (KATV Photo)

Things got ugly.

I'm talking about the two meetings between Pulaski Academy and Little Rock McClellan two years ago. Game one ended with the sportsmanship rule (PA was up by 35 points) being invoked and PA accusing McClellan of dirty play.

Things were much different when they met for the Class 5A state title. The upstart Lions led Pulaski Academy at halftime. PA took control late in the second half and won 50-30. It was a late touchdown with 12 seconds left that created a little, no a lot, of post-game controversy. Many viewed it as unneeded retaliation for something that happened weeks earlier.

It's easy to see why there would be tension between these two programs.

They are as different as the streets they are on. The Pulaski Academy campus is in West Little Rock on Hinson road. Little Rock McClellan sits on Geyer Springs Road in southwest Little Rock.

Just 20 minutes away from each other, but so different.

Pulaski Academy has one of the country's most exceptional football programs. Up until two years ago, McClellan was a football failure factory. PA just added a state of the art video board to their stadium. McClellan's field was in such disrepair that the Lions had to play every game away from home this season.

Simply put, the kids on these teams come from different worlds. Differences can lead to tension.

Fast forward two years and something has been added to this compelling rivalry: respect.

The two head coaches, Kevin Kelley and Maurice Moody, now have something they didn't have in 2015: a relationship. Earlier this week, the coaches even took part in a made for TV bench press contest. Moody pushed up 225 pounds, 23 times, with relative ease on Monday. Then on Tuesday, Kelley squeezed out 23.

The respect has been earned on the field. McClellan has played PA tougher than any other opponent the Bruins have faced in the last three years.

Saturday night, PA will try to put a stamp on a historic run by winning its 4th straight state title, There's one 5A team in the state that is capable of taking down the monster, and that's McClellan.

I can't wait.

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