HATTIESBURG, MS - "As seniors, I've never beaten Oak Grove for the past three or four years," said Petal senior running back Stephon Huderson. "And we have a really good chance this year of beating them."
"It'd be good for us to leave here as seniors not losing to them," said Oak Grove senior wide receiver Justin Mary.
A year from now, many of the kids competing in tomorrow night's game will be away at college and some playing college football. But all of them will remember who won the Petal-Oak Grove game in 2016. Both the Panthers (3-2) and Warriors (3-3) have had ups and downs this season, and both realize the opportunity they have in week seven.
"In the past, we got our butts kicked," Huderson said. "We didn't execute things right, we weren't ready. I guess whoever makes less mistakes in the game, we're well prepared for this game."
"I think the last two games you see what we're capable of doing," said Oak Grove head coach Drew Causey, whose team has won two games in a row. "I think we're about halfway where we could be. So we still have a lot of ways to get better and a lot of growing up to do. As long as we get better each week, that's what matters."
You'll hear coaches and players say, 'This week's game is the most important.' But with region playoff implications and bragging rights on the line Friday night, both teams know this isn't just the next game on the schedule.
"Both sections are going to be packed, student sections are going to be loud," Causey said. "Bands are going to be loud."
"The next game's the most important one of the season," Huderson said. "But everybody knows this is Oak Grove and everybody knows what we have to bring to the table in this game."
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