Hattiesburg Oak Grove Playoff Preview: Part 2 - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Hattiesburg Oak Grove Playoff Preview: Part 2

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Oak Grove and Hattiesburg square off on Friday night for the first round of the 6A playoffs. Hattiesburg comes in at 4-7, while the Warriors sit at 10-1. But Oak Grove head coach football coach Nevil Barr says, 'that's why you play the games'.

"The thing about it is you don't play on paper, you play on the field and you've got to come ready to play each and every week," says Barr. "I guarantee you, they're talented enough to beat us if we don't play good football and our kids know that."

The Warriors also know they can beat the Tigers with a strong performance. Oak Grove came away with a 15-point victory at Hattiesburg back in September.

But this time around the Warriors possess the home-field advantage in a win or go home scenario.

"Oh no question it's always good to play at home," says Barr. "You always want to play in front of your home crowd, and you always want to open up the playoffs - get it started in front of your own people so I think that's big for us.

It also helps that Oak Grove comes in riding a two-game win streak, outscoring opponents 98-0 in the process.

In fact, the Warriors have won six out of their last seven since their first meeting with Hattiesburg.

Even though the Tigers were 0-4 after that contest, Barr knew he had not seen the last of the cross-town rival.

"Yeah, I did. As a matter of fact I told their coach before that I really thought they had a good football team," says Barr. "They've got a lot of talent. I thought they were going to do very well in that division, and they did so it didn't surprise me that they made the playoffs. I was expecting them to."

Hattiesburg comes in as the No. 3 seed from Region 4, after going 4-3 in district play.

The Tigers have dropped their last two, but come Friday night Barr expects to see an opponent that has improved over the last two months.

They're a better football team now than they were back then and hopefully we are too," says Barr. "This is a cross-town rivalry, this is going to be a great football game, and I think this is the first time that I can remember playing them in a playoff game, so it's going to be a lot of fun for the community."

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