Game of the Week: Petal at Columbia

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 11:11 PM CDT
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COLUMBIA, Miss. (WDAM) -6A powerhouse Petal travels to take on a talented Columbia program in their brand-new stadium on Friday.

“The energy is great, we’re excited to play a big opponent. It’s going to be electric,” Columbia wide receiver/ defensive back Josh Brown said. “Everybody is excited about a new field.

“We’re a smaller school and you don’t get the opportunities to play big schools and a program like Petal,” Columbia Head Coach Chip Bilderback said. “You know, they’ve been in the playoff the last 10 years, I want to say, in 6A so that speaks volumes.

“I think you’ve got a really good opponent in Columbia that’s got a chance in my mind to be a top contender in 4A. They’re very talented in multiple spots on their side of the ball defensively,” Allen Glenn, Petal Head Coach, said.

And at the forefront of that skilled Columbia defense is the men up-front.

Jaheim [Oatis] obviously is the guy that gets a lot of publicity,” Glenn said. He’s one of the best defensive lineman in the country, but they’ve got some other good players as well so we’ve got our hands full.

That battle between the Wildcat defensive line and the Panther offensive line will be one to watch all game.

“Very key. Whoever controls the line of scrimmage is obviously going to win,” Petal left tackle Reed McKay said. “So, we’re going to try to maintain the ball the whole game and control upfront.”

“Well, I think that’s where the game is going to be won and lost is in the trenches. They have a great offensive line, they’re coached very well,” the Columbia Head Coach said.

Both teams look to make some overall improvements. Petal coming off a loss to D’Iberville and Columbia off a canceled game

“Penalties have killed us. That’s the biggest thing we’ve seen too from an offensive standup. We just shot ourselves in the foot,” Glenn said. “Defensively, I just think we’ve got to keep playing hard. Kind of got outmatched a little bit last week.”

“The main thing is just executing better. Early in the year, you’re always looking to perform better execution. Defensively, we just had too many missed tackles in our first game so that’s been a point of emphasis the last couple of weeks,” Bilderback said.

And this’ll be a competitive and physical matchup and that’ll likely last all 4 quarters.

“It’s two really good football programs. I think it’s going to be two teams that really want to win and I think it’s going to be whoever can outlast each other,” Bilderback said.

“Hard knock football,” Brown said.

“It’s man up. Us versus them,” McKay said.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Columbia.

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