Oak Grove blew past Pearl with a potent passing attack to earn a 47-7 victory on the school’s homecoming night. With the win, the Warriors remain undefeated and improve to 8-0 on the season.
“I thought we prepared the right way all week, and it showed tonight the way we executed,” Oak Grove coach Drew Causey said. “Our big focus all week was our preparation and how we came to practice every day, so that was key, and our guys did a great job.”
Quarterback Kabe Barnett led the way for the Warriors’ dominant victory. Barnett completed 12 of 18 attempts for 269 yards and five touchdowns while running for 41 yards and a one rushing touchdown. Barnett’s top target was Tyrell Pollard, who had four receptions for 110 yards and three touchdowns.
Barnett described what he saw against Pearl’s defense that allowed him to make some of his deep throws.
“They played a weird kind of secondary, so they always left the second receiver wide open if we run three-vertical or anything deep against it,” Barnett said.
Defensively, the Warriors held Pearl to 178 total yards on offense. The Warriors sacked Pirates’ quarterback Shade Foster three times and intercepted him twice. Foster ended the game with 7 of 15 attempts for 59 yards and one touchdown.
Oak Grove started the game with intensity, scoring touchdowns on its first five possessions. The Warriors’ scoring onslaught began on the second play of the game when Barnett connected with Pollard for a 54-yard touchdown. On the next drive, Barnett found Pollard again for an eight-yard touchdown.
On the following drive, Barnett scrambled and pushed into the endzone for a 21-yard score. Oak Grove continued to shut down the Pirates’ offense and forced its first turnover in the game with an interception by cornerback Dontavious Howard. On the next play, Barnett launched a pass to Pollard for a 22-yard touchdown to put the Warriors up 27-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, a 63-yard reception by Trayvon Moore set up another touchdown for Barnett, who threw connected with Raheem Fairely for a 17-yard score.
At the end of the second, the Pirates stopped Oak Grove from scoring a touchdown. The Warriors settled for a field goal, which kicker Michael Owens nailed from 45 yards out.
Pearl managed to respond to the Warriors’ 37 unanswered points on the following drive with its lone touchdown of the game. Foster threw deep to his open receiver, Alex Spires, for a 45-yard touchdown. Causey explained that his team executed the game plan near perfect in the first half.
“It was a really good game plan that our coaches came up with, and our guys executed it to really almost perfection in the first half, so I was really proud of that,” Causey said.
Pearl drove the ball into Oak Grove’s territory at the beginning of the third quarter, but cornerback Jaylen Aborom intercepted a pass from Foster in the endzone. Aborom returned it past midfield, which gave the Warriors good field position for its offense. A few plays later, Barnett found Jaquerrius Gray for a 16-yard touchdown.
The Warriors’ final score of the game came in the early fourth quarter on Collins's 37-yard field goal.
Oak Grove will travel to Northwest Rankin next Friday to seal the 6A Region 3 title. Causey describes the importance of the game.
“One of our goals is to win the region this year, and we both got the chance to do that,” Causey said. “We’re going up to their place, and it’s going to be the winner is the region champs, so our guys will be excited and looking forward to the challenge.”