Luck continues to stay on Oak Grove’s side as for a second time this season, the Warriors were able to enjoy another bye week.
While most teams would likely be frustrated, the Warriors avoided having to play in bad weather on Thursday, a short week due to a hurricane, got several key players healthier, and still earned the win over Meridian to move to 5-0 on the season.
In addition to the team’s luck, first-year starters Kabe Barnett and Tyrell Pollard have been the backbone for Oak Grove’s explosiveness on offense.
Barnett has been efficient in four games and has passed for 707 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions while also running for 87 yards and three touchdowns. Barnett’s top target, Pollard, leads the team with 17 catches, 373 yards and six touchdowns.
“I’m really proud of (Barnett) and what he has done,” Oak Grove coach Drew Causey said. “He has played really well. He’s taking what the defenses are giving them. He hasn’t turned the ball over very much. I know he has turned it over a couple of times, but he has been taking care of the football and doing what we have asked him to do. I’m proud of him with the way he has played.”
The duo has helped Oak Grove average 53.5 points on the season as well as helped the offense put up over 412 yards of total offense in each game.
“(Pollard) has played extremely well,” Causey said. “He’s kind of a guy that we knew going into the season that was going to be a difference-maker for us. With the receivers that we have, it’s hard to double team any of them.”
The Warriors will hope to maintain that offensive momentum on the road against Terry (1-5, 0-3). The Bulldogs were forced to miss the last three weeks after having a positive COVID-19 test hours before its game against Brandon on Sept. 25 and has since forfeited every game in region play. Terry defeated Florence 33-7 in the team’s season opener. The Bulldogs’ last game was a 55-21 loss to Germantown.
“You prepare for them the same way you would any other week,” Causey said. “You watch film on them and go to practice. They have a lot of athletes. They run around really well. They can present you some problems if you are not ready to play.”
Terry’s offense had averaged 24 points per game. The center of its offense is quarterback Deuce Marshall and running back Jartavious Washington.
“They run multiple formations, but they are a spread offense,” Causey said. “Their quarterback is very athletic. I think they are more of a run team.
“They have some guys who can go get it. For us, we are always going to try and stop the run first.”
On defense, Terry was allowing 36 points per game. According to Causey, the Bulldog defense relies heavily on the play of its defensive backs.
“We have a couple of games on them,” Causey said. “They run a 3-3 stack. One week they ran a 5-down linemen and six defensive backs, and we really didn’t see a linebacker on the field. I’m not sure what that was about, but they are very multiple on defense. They have some athletes that can run around. They always have athletes.
“The defensive backs and linebackers run really well. Those are the ones that you have to get on and block them.”