Oak Grove gears up for rival Hattiesburg Tigers

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 11:57 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - “High intensity at practice,” said Hattiesburg senior defensive tackle Malek Jones. “Just ready to fly around, hit somebody.”

That’s what the week typically looks like when Hattiesburg knows it has Oak Grove coming up on Friday.

“When you look at this Oak Grove team, you see your typical Oak Grove team,” said Hattiesburg head coach Tony Vance. “Talented team that’s capable of making big plays on offense and being stingy, real stingy on defense.”

Of course, the Tigers are pretty stout on that side of the ball, too.

The Warriors put up a combined ten points in the first half of their first two games, and know they need a quicker start.

“Figuring out how to play physical and fast at the start,” said Oak Grove head coach Drew Causey. “We’ve done it for two fourth quarters in a row. So we just have to carry that energy we have in the fourth quarter to the first quarter at the start of the game. If our team does that we have a chance to have a really good program.”

Hattiesburg is not only battling football teams but the injury bug, too.

Down to its fourth-string quarterback, the Tigers are going to lean on their defense and their resolve in Friday’s rivalry.

“Just on defense, just play fast, physical and just hit ‘em every play,” Jones said. “One person go down, the whole team got they back. We’re all doing it for them, we have to win for them.”

“It’s next man up mentality,” Vance said. “We won’t make excuses about what we have, what we don’t have. We have a game to go play. It’s the Battle of the ‘Burg so we gotta show up and show out.”

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