HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - An intercity, non-district clash that has picked up steam in recent years – Oak Grove and Hattiesburg again do battle on Friday night.
The Tigers are 0-2 for the first time since 2013 while the Warriors visit D.I. Patrick Stadium with a 2-0 record.
“They were off last week so they’ve had an extra week to prepare for us,” said Oak Grove head coach Drew Causey. “Their coaches do a great job. They’ve gone undefeated the last two regular seasons. They’ve played two really tough teams and the ball just hasn’t bounced their way but they still have a really talented team and a bunch of guys that can fly around. We’re going to have to play our best game.”
“Talented football team,” said Hattiesburg head coach Tony Vance. “Those guys seem to regroup every year, they never really seem to have a rebuilding year. Coach Causey, hats off to him and his staff the job they’ve done preparing their team, getting them ready to play thus far. They’re 2-0 because they deserve to be 2-0. Our focus hasn’t been so much on Oak Grove, we got to focus on Hattiesburg and what it takes for us to be better this week.”
Hattiesburg opened the season with two losses to two playoff teams from a year ago – Petal (3-0) and Laurel (2-1).
The gauntlet continues on Friday at 7 p.m. – a tough non-district slate that Vance hopes will benefit his team down the road.
“When you play two teams early on that both are probably going to be playoff football teams, those teams are going to make you better,” Vance said. “That’s why we play the non-division schedule we play. Obviously, you want to win them all but the ultimate goal is to get better from playing those games.”
“We’re improving a lot,” said Hattiesburg junior safety Walton Thompson. “Week one, a lot of players didn’t know their assignments on the field. But now as we’re starting to practice and took the bye week seriously, I think we’ll be ready.”