Oak Grove, Petal Second Round Playoff Preview: Part 1 - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Oak Grove, Petal Second Round Playoff Preview: Part 1

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Oak Grove got off to a fast start in this year's 6A playoffs, dispatching Hattiesburg 38-6 on Friday.

With a win over another familiar opponent this week, the Warriors punch their ticket to the round of four.

"Well really this is an important win for us because it puts us into South State," says Oak Grove head football coach Nevil Barr. "It being Petal just adds just adds a little bit of flavor to the game, but really right now everybody is trying to advance. This is a big ball game because we're playing to get into South State."

For the Warriors, reaching the third round means beating the Panthers for the second time this season.

Petal hosts this week's game, but that does not intimidate the cross-town foe.

"I don't feel threatened at all by it," says Oak Grove senior linebacker John Clayton Nelson. "We love it."

"It's going to be a huge crowd no matter where it's played, no matter if it's here or there," says Barr. "Wherever you put this ball game it's going to be a lot of people. It's going to be a lot of excitement."

"A game's a game," says Oak Grove senior defensive lineman Taylor Braley. "Some people think playing away is worse, but it doesn't make any difference to me. I know it's still the same team that we played here."

When the two teams got together in Oak Grove back in October, the Warriors came away with a 31-14 victory.

But seven weeks later, the Warriors know this week's rivalry game is up for grabs.

"We're both a lot better than we were at that point in the season," says Nelson.

"The more you play the better you're going to get, and I think both teams have improved since the last time we played," says Barr.

"I'm sure Petal's gotten a lot better, and we've gotten a lot better so it should be a good game, but I know if we come out to play the way we can play - like as a family and everybody has everything going - then we should be in good shape," says Braley.


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