Game of the Week: Gulfport at Oak Grove
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) -The journey back to a state title for Oak Grove starts Friday against Gulfport as 6-A playoff football kicks off.
“When you get to playoff time, it’s literally win or go home,” Oak Grove head coach Drew Causey said. “Spirits are really high, players are excited and it’s playoff football.”
“We’re very excited to be in the position that we’re in,” Oak Grove wide receiver and kicker Byron Easterling said. “We just got to keep working.”
The defending State Champions begin the road back to the title game, a road they’ve traveled the last 3 years, but Coach Causey embraces the high expectations he has for his team.
“I think at Oak Grove that’s your expectation every year. That’s our expectation as a coaching staff and that’s not going to change. Our kids have to try to live up to that,” Causey said. “It’s a lot better than the other expectation of just trying to make the playoffs. So, we’re approaching this as we got to win and keep playing and see if we can make a run.”
The players feel that expectation helps, not hurts.
“It helps us a lot because some of us want to get back to that position and get the same feeling we felt last year,” Easterling said.
But before they can think about title games, Oak Grove will have to go through 8-4 Gulfport.
“They’ve got a really good football team. Coach Archie does a great job, you know, I’ve known him for a long time,” the Warriors head coach said. “Talented on the defensive front and then offensively they do a lot of different stuff that we got to be ready for. It’s definitely going to be a huge challenge.”
And at this point in the year, any team has the ability to end someone’s season.
“If you don’t show up ready to play and you don’t play your best, you’re going to be cleaning out your locker room on Monday,” Causey said.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Oak Grove.
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