It didn’t take long for Oak Grove to establish itself as one of the premier teams in the state this season, and it took even less time for the Warriors to dispatch an overmatched Jim Hill squad at Warrior Field Friday night.
Quarterback Kirk McCarty threw two touchdowns in the first quarter (three overall) and the defense held Jim Hill scoreless in a 56-0 win on Senior Night. Oak Grove needed only five plays on its opening drive to get in the end zone when McCarty connected with Josh Abram for a 10-yard touchdown.
Taylor Braley caused a fumble on Jim Hill’s ensuing possession, which set up a one-yard rushing score for Mikal Bilal that put the Warriors up 14-0 with only 3:17 gone in the first quarter.
Oak Grove was able to throw on the Tigers at will and both sides of the ball dominated. Another McCarty pass — this time to Jordan Duncan — made the score 21-0 with 5:14 remaining in the first quarter.
Even when Warrior coach Nevill Barr benched McCarty and most of the first team offense from the second quarter on, the Warriors were still able to put points on the board. Backup quarterback J.C. Keys threw a 31-yard touchdown pass on his first series of the game, putting OGHS up 42-0 with 1:50 seconds left in the first half.
Perhaps the most electrifying play of the night came right before halftime, when defensive back Ansen Overstreet picked off a tipped Jim Hill pass, completely reversed fields and rumbled into the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown. The score gave the Warriors a commanding 49-0 lead at the break.
Officials implemented a running clock in the second half and Oak Grove ran the ball on every play of the third and fourth quarters. It was the perfect end to an outstanding season by a team looking to make a serious run at the 6A state championship this year.
“I thought our kids, they came out and they were ready. They were enthusiastic to play. They played hard and I’m proud of them for that,” Barr said. “(We had) a 10-1 season and now it’s a new season.”
That new season begins next week when the Warriors (10-1, 6-1) enter the playoffs. Oak Grove will host Hattiesburg High in the first round, setting up a crosstown rivalry showdown that will have the Hub City buzzing with excitement.
“It’s what we’ve been looking forward to,” Barr said. “I guarantee you our kids are gonna be excited to start these playoffs.”