WAYNE COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Just when Oak Grove High School needed a boost Friday night, junior running back Orlando Simon was there to answer the Warriors' call.
In his first action of the season, Simon carried the ball six times in Oak Grove's final 15 plays for 83 yards and two touchdowns to help the visiting Warriors past Wayne County High 27-14.
"He hadn't played a (varsity) snap," Oak Grove coach Drew Causey said. "He was a basketball kid that came over this summer and wanted to play. But we saw something in him Monday in our (junior varsity) game. He played a quarter in that, and we saw some really good stuff, so at halftime, we figured it was time to give him a shot."
On a humid night that saw a slew of players cramping, Simon's fresh legs late in the fourth quarter allowed him to get to the edge of the War Eagles' defense.
Three of his six carries went for 10 yards or more, including a 51-yard jaunt down the right sideline to set up his second score, a 6-yard blast up the middle on third-and-goal.
"At the end, they made the plays and we didn't," Wayne County coach Todd Mangum said. "We had opportunities, they had opportunities … but hats off to them. I'm not taking anything away from Oak Grove. Drew and them do an outstanding job, and it's a class program. It's always a good game when Wayne County and Oak Grove play."
It was a see-saw game that saw the teams swap leads until the Warriors (1-1) took control of the scoreboard in the final 5 ½ minutes of the game.
Statistically, Oak Grove dominated, rolling up 542 total yards, including 308 yards on the ground, to Wayne County's 247 total yards.
Quarterback Max Crawford, who played the entire game for the Warriors, completed 15 of 27 passes for 234 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Barnett in the second quarter that gave Oak Grove a 13-7 halftime lead.
But Crawford threw three interceptions, with Kelly Thornton, Rodricus Walker and Dearius Royal all each coming up with a pick for the War Eagles (0-2), including two in the War Eagles' end zone.
The missed opportunities helped Wayne County not only hang around, but take a 14-3 on Schadarious Chambers 12-yard run late in the third quarter.
But Crawford stayed the course, and made plays down with stretch with his arm as well as his legs, gaining the bulk of his 48 yards rushing in the final quarter.
"He made some mistakes, some obvious mistakes, and some of those were my fault," Causey said. "But he made some plays, and those were huge. We made a decision earlier this week that, 'Hey, let's go with one guy and see how he does this week.'"
Junior Zabryan Jackson, starting at quarterback in place of the injured Joshua Page (cracked bone in hand), rushed for 99 yards on 11 carries to lead Wayne County's rushers.
Chris Cooley ran for 48 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, while Chambers ran for 47 yards and a score on nine carries.
Dwayne Lee picked up 59 yards on six carries for the Warriors, including a 40-yard touchdown run that opened the scoring in the second quarter. Aaron Abram ran for 65 yards on 18 carries.
Oak Grove will visit Laurel Friday, while Wayne County travels to Meridian.
About the WDAM 7 Gametime app:
The WDAM 7 Gametime app is bringing you the latest on Pine Belt sports.
The app features up to the minute scores for games, video highlights from local games, in-depth interviews with coaches, and updated schedules for your convenience.
Interact with us by sending us your pictures from local games or by joining us in conversation on social media.
You can also get the latest on Southern Miss football, Mississippi sports, SEC, NFL, and Saints coverage.
Download now, it is Gametime in South Mississippi!
Apple users can download The WDAM 7 Gametime app here.
Android users can download The WDAM 7 Gametime app here.