Oak Grove High School football coach Drew Causey said that Friday night’s visit from Wayne County High School would provide a good early-season test for his Warriors.
Oak Grove passed with flying colors.
Quarterback Jon Rhys Plumlee may have turned the stadium’s lights off on the way out the door because he did just about everything else for the Warriors, throwing for four touchdowns and rushing for two more as Oak Grove rolled past the War Eagles 42-3.
“I think we’ve got a chance to be pretty good,” Causey said. “The score does (surprise), yes, because that’s a great football team we just played, but our effort and execution, that doesn’t surprise me.
“We’ve got a great group of guys that are really special.”
They were Friday.
The Warriors (2-0), coming off a 45-7 season-opening road win at Purvis High School, scored on their first three possessions on Plumlee-to-Kevin Barnett passes and never looked back, leading 28-3 at halftime and 42-3 after three quarters.
Wayne County (1-1), which rolled to a 43-7 win in its opener with West Jones High School, had no answers for the Warriors.
Plumlee engineered a balanced offense that amassed 451 yards total offense, including 237 yards rushing and 214 yards passing.
“It’s a blessing to come out here,” said Plumee, who has thrown four incompletions with seven touchdowns and no interceptions in two games after completing 11 of 13 passes Friday night.
“When you get the dice rolling early like, the game just seems like it goes from there.”
And the Warriors’ defense was smothering. Consider:
Wayne County had 52 total yards at halftime. At the end of the game, the War Eagles had 48 yards total offense. Their second half output: Minus 4 yards rushing and one pass completion for no gain.
The War Eagles had four snaps sail high from the shotgun, resulting in the ball on the ground three times and an accumulated loss of minus 25 yards.
Wayne County managed just eight first downs all game, half coming on Oak Grove penalties, including its only one in the second half.
Wayne County lone scoring drive was aided by a 24-yard Oak Grove punt and two Warriors penalties totaling 25 yards that gave the War Eagles a first down at the Oak Grove 21. They had to settle for Heath Mosley’s 36-yard field goal.
“Those guys are flying around and playing hard, and we played pretty dang good (Friday) night,” Causey said. “I was impressed with our effort.”
Mosley provided the only other highlight of the evening for Wayne County with a booming 71-yard punt from the War Eagles’ 15-yard line that bounded to the Oak Grove 14-yard line at the start of the third quarter.
Oak Grove drove 86 yards in 10 plays, with Plumlee scoring on a 6-yard run to shatter any comeback hopes that may have been lurking on the other sideline.
“Oh, that was something,” Wayne County coach Todd Mangum said. “They’re a very good football team and they’re an experienced football team.
“We knew it was going to be tough, but we helped them, we helped them be better, and we didn’t help ourselves at all. We dug ourselves in a hole and we just couldn’t get out. Once that snowball got rolling, it just kept rolling.”
Oak Grove took the opening kickoff and went 79 yards in six plays. In his 2017 debut, Orlando Simon carried three times for 40 yards on a drive that Plumlee capped with a well-thrown ball down the middle to a wide-open Barnett for a 35-yard touchdown.
After Wayne County lost 11 yards on its first possession, Oak Grove struck again, with Plumlee finding Barnett for 26 yards and a14-0 lead.
Oak Grove made it 21-0 on its first possession of the second quarter, with Barnett somehow escaping a traffic jam to find an alley into the end zone with a 4-yard touchdown pass.
In two games, Barnett has caught 13 passes for 243 yards and five touchdowns.
Mosely’s field goal made it 21-3, and Oak Grove got the ball at it 25 with 2 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first half.
Tyler Taylor gained 27 yards on two carries, and Plumlee ran for 4 yards to set up a first down at the Wayne County 45-yard line.
On the next snap, Plumlee faked a handoff right, then bootlegged to the left, weaving and sidestepping his down the field, breaking a tackle around the 15-yard line before breaking free to finish off a 45-yard scoring run that made it 28-3 with just 43 seconds left in the second quarter.
“Wayne County, they’re such competitors,” Plumlee said. “They like to hit, and that’s what’s so fun. Football is about hitting.”
Plumee’s second touchdown run in the third quarter was followed by a 54-yard touchdown pass to Deltarus Thompson with 41 seconds to play in the period that capped the scoring and sent the first-team to the sidelines for the rest of the evening.
Simon finished with 95 yards rushing on 12 carries, Taylor had 46 yards on 10 carries and Plumlee added 80 yards on eight carries.
Oak Grove will host Laurel High School at 7 p.m. Friday, while Wayne County welcomes Jefferson Davis County High School (2-0) to Waynesboro at 7 p.m. Friday. The Jaguars held off Collins 22-20 Friday night.
“We’ve got a tough one next week with Laurel coming here, so it doesn’t get any easier,” Causey said.