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Game of the Week: Petal at Oak Grove

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 2:52 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) -“It’s rivalry week so it’s going to be physical,” Oak Grove linebacker Quintin Sterling said.

“That’s the one you circle in when you get the schedule,” Zion Edwards, a Petal linebacker, said. “That’s the one you circle in for sure.”

Two 6A powerhouses go at it in a division rivalry on Friday as Petal travels to take on Oak Grove.

“Everybody always gets up for this game,” Oak Grove head coach Drew Causey said.

“The whole state’s going to be at this game,” Edwards said. “The whole state’s going to be watching.”

“Petal-Oak Grove game, that’s one thing they grow up as young kids hearing. You know, the rivalry that’s there,” Petal head coach Allen Glenn said.

While there’s a great rivalry there, there’s also great respect between the two programs.

“You know, those guys do a great job over there and got a great program,” Causey said. “They have for a number of years and it’s always a fun game to play.”

“It’s an opportunity to play in my opinion the number one public school in the state of Mississippi. Just a very talented football team, very well-coached football team,” Glenn said.

Glenn, Edwards and that Panther defense will have their hands full against a talented Oak Grove offense.

“We gotta bend facemasks in for sure, but we gotta limit their big plays. They’ve got some guys everywhere- quarterback, wide receiver, running backs,” Edwards said. “They’re a good group. They’re an explosive group. They can hit a big play whenever they want and we expect that and we’re going to treat it the same. So, we’re going just try and limit and make them quit while we can.”

But Kabe Barnett, JQ Gray and company won’t have it easy lining up against the Petal defense.

“They’re very talented up front especially their 3 defensive linemen are really good,” Causey said. They’ve got athletes all over the field, so we’re going to have to play our best ball game up to this date.”

While Oak Grove’s offense might be anchored by veteran presence, Petal’s consists of young guys stepping up.

“I think our quarterback is coming along. He’s a young guy that doesn’t have a lot of Friday night experience,” Glenn said. “Our running backs, think they’ve been doing a pretty good job too just kind of running behind an offensive line that we feel like has some Friday night experience from last year.”

That young offense will face a strong Warrior defense that knows what they need to do to get the job done on Friday.

“Just go fast, play our defense. We’re fast and aggressive and relentless basically,” Sterling said.

And district play aside, rivalries aside, it’s just another Friday for these guys.

“I think leading up to it obviously there’s gonna be that passion, that rivalry sense but I also think once the balls kicked off it’s football at the end of the day,” Glenn said.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Oak Grove.

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