Oak Grove gears up for non-region rumble with Wayne County

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 11:19 PM CDT
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WAYNESBORO, Miss. (WDAM) - Aikerien Hopkins was plenty busy in Wayne County’s win last week, spending most of his time in the Quitman backfield.

“I think it’s a place you can play sideline to sideline and get a lot of tackles,” said Hopkins, a senior linebacker. “It’s like a game. It’s like rodeo where you’re chasing the cow down and wrapping him up. I just like making tackles, chasing the tackle down and that’s how I look at it.”

Hopkins and the War Eagles are going to try to corral the explosive Oak Grove Warriors on Friday at 7:30 p.m., led by speedy Southern Miss commit JQ Gray.

“Their size on the offensive, defensive line up front and their speed,” said Wayne County head coach Jack Hankins. “They’re a good football team, they’ve got good players everywhere. We just got to come and we’ve got to be consistent.”

“Coach Hankins is doing a great job over there,” said Oak Grove head coach Drew Causey. “It’s been nice getting to know him. He’s a heck of a football coach so we’re going to have to play a lot better on both sides of the ball. They do a lot on offense – from spread to Wing-T to gun Wing-T. Defensively we got to know what we’re doing.”

Though the two schools are separated by 70 miles, they have quite a bit in common from a football standpoint including tradition. There’s a combined six state championships between them since 2002.

Both coaches saw good, bad and ugly in week one’s film – but both saw teams which gutted out one-score victories.

Friday is another opportunity for Oak Grove and Wayne County to improve.

“It’s taking us time to figure each other out and figure out how our sideline’s going to be and things like that,” Causey said. “It’s great when you can play ugly and win.”

“Any time you can come up with that many penalties and that much adversity, that’s a great tribute to our kids,” Hankins said. “They just didn’t quit and they didn’t lay down. What we have to do right now is strive for consistency with our bunch. This game – I know for them and us – it doesn’t determine playoffs but it’s important because you want to play well and you want to be better every week you play.”

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