Hattiesburg Preps for Cross-Town Matchup with Oak Grove - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Hattiesburg Preps for Cross-Town Matchup with Oak Grove

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When Hattiesburg and Oak Grove kick off, one of the state's best rivalries returns to the forefront.

"Just going to be a great atmosphere for high school football on Friday night here in Mississippi, and that's what it's all about," says Hattiesburg head football coach Tony Vance.

But after moving from Region 3-6A to 4-6A in the offseason, The Tigers view this year's contest a little bit differently.

"This is our last opportunity to get it right before the season starts for us next week when we start division play," says Vance. "This is our last preseason game for all intents and purposes."

Despite the division realignment, this cross-town matchup features a recent history that is hard to ignore.

"For the last two years, Hattiesburg's been the team - I think - to eliminate Oak Grove from the playoffs, and I know it's a big deal to the guys out there at Oak Grove and that's the momentum they're feeding off of, and we might as well feed off of it also," says Vance.

Hattiesburg also feeds off the motivation of wanting to win its first game of the season.

The Tigers come into this one 0-3, but Coach Vance expects his players to carry a winning attitude into the team's first home game.

"Those guys - they're not down, I'll guarantee you," says Vance. "They're upbeat, and I look for them to play well tomorrow."

Hattiesburg and Oak Grove kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday at Hattiesburg High School.

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