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Oak Grove topples Petal, 48-14

Published: Oct. 2, 2021 at 12:58 AM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A good stretch of the 2021 football season remains to be played, but if the first two games of Region 3-6A are any indication, a retooled Oak Grove High School has morphed from rebuilt to reloaded.

Veteran quarterback Kabe Barnett threw three touchdown passes as the Warriors fed the offensive engines with a passel of Petal High School missteps in an eye-opening 48-14 victory Friday night.

“The last couple of weeks, we got in a groove in the offensive line, which we had seen coming,” Oak Grove coach Drew Causey said. “We weren’t playing badly before, but these last couple games, the kids have played really well, and if that continues, we have a chance to be a pretty good program.”

Indeed.

It took Oak Grove (4-1, 2-0 Region 3-6A) a couple series of downs to get in gear, including one possession that was ruined by a Barnett fumble at the Petal 35-yard line.

But a pair of Petal mishaps keyed the ignition, and once the Warrior machine roared to life, it ran over its archrival from across the county line.

“You can’t make those kind of mistakes against that kind of team,” Petal coach Allen Glenn said. “From a defensive standpoint, we had too many busted coverages, too many broken assignments.

“From an offensive standpoint, we showed more spurts, but we have to be more consistent.”

With the game still scoreless in the first quarter, a bad snap on a Petal punt sent the ball from near midfield all the way down to the Panthers’ 13-yard line.

Barnett found J.Q. Gray on the first play from scrimmage with a gorgeous touch pass to the front corner of the end zone, and Gray tapped both toes inbounds to give Oak Grove a 6-0 lead.

On the ensuing possession, Petal quarterback Cayden Burger was picked off at the Panthers’ 38-yard line by P.J. Woodland. The Warriors went 62 yards in seven plays, with Barnett finding Jaylon Aborom with a 31-yard scoring pass on fourth-and-7 for a 13-0 lead at the end of the first period.

Petal missed wide left on a 45-yard field-goal attempt, and the Warriors needed just six plays to take a 20-0 lead, with running back Dontavious Howard covering the final 18 yards.

Petal (4-3, 0-2) cut the lead to 20-7 on a 42-yard pass play from Burger to Nehemiah Taylor, but the Warriors went 48 yards on three plays to score with less than 35 seconds left in the second quarter for a 27-7 halftime lead.

An on-side kick gave the Warriors the opening possession of the second half, and Oak Grove cased in on a 13-yard pass from Barnett to Easterling.

Burger fund Eli Carroll with a 9-yard dart for a touchdown to get Petal back within 34-14, but the Warriors tamped out any momentum with a 53-yard drive that ended with a little razzle-dazzle.as receiver Ty Pollard took a handoff then pulled up and found Aborom with a short TD pass.

Gray capped the scoring with an 8-yard run.

I thought we played well,” Causey said. “Very proud of our effort.”

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