HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - When Oak Grove sent John Rhys Plumlee to Ole Miss, it said goodbye to 5,430 career passing yards, 2,314 rushing yards and 82 total touchdowns.
In the search for a quarterback who could lead the Warriors back to the class 6A state championship, in stepped Damon Stewart – a senior transfer from Chattahoochie High School in Alpharetta, Georgia.
"[Oak Grove]’s really different from where I came from but I like it a lot because it's just a different environment,” Stewart said. “I have really great teammates, it's like a brotherhood. It's like a family. Plus, I have really big shoes to fill. So I have a lot to prove especially coming off my knee injury, too."
It wasn’t until the first part of July that Stewart was healthy enough to practice with Oak Grove.
Fast-forward two weeks into the fall season, he’s beginning to take hold of the Warriors offense and become a voice in the locker room.
"He kind of started to take on more of a leadership role, more that role that you expect your quarterback to have,” said Oak Grove head coach Drew Causey. “The guys responded well and they have a good relationship."
"It's basically playing with like [Division I] athletes,” Stewart said. “They're all like amazing kids. Like, they have really good talent and they make me look good. I don't take credit for anything."
Stewart has tossed seven touchdowns in two games, completing 70 percent of his passes.
The more he learns about the Oak Grove community, the more he strives to be a part of a second straight South State championship.
"Coming closer, playing more as a team ‘cause it's different when you're playing for each other,” Stewart said. “It's a whole different type of ball game, it's like you're unstoppable. I'm trying to play for a state ring." "We’re two games in to a long season and I’m happy where we’re at right now,” Causey said. “It’s kind of like he said – if we just keep coming together even more as a team, I think we have a good chance to have a good football team."
Oak Grove (2-0) visits Hattiesburg (0-2) on Friday at 7 p.m.