The last time Oak Grove climbed to the top spot in the high school football rankings was midway through the 2011 season, and what happened next left a sour taste in the Warriors’ mouths.
Less than a week after ascending to the No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press Overall and Class 6A polls, Oak Grove was beaten decisively by archrival Petal.
Once again, Oak Grove has made it to the No. 1 ranking in both the AP polls and the Mississippi Public Broadcasting Top 25, climbing into the top spot this week for the first time this season.
The undefeated Warriors will look to avoid a stumble similar to the one they suffered in 2011 when they host Terry tonight in a key Region 3-6A contest at Warrior Field.
The Bulldogs bring a record of 4-3 overall and 2-1 in region play into tonight’s game, while Oak Grove hopes to avoid a letdown following last week’s smashing 38-10 victory over Meridian.
In another clash in Region 3-6A, No. 3 Petal travels to Jackson to face Jim Hill.
The Panthers are looking to avoid a possible trap game, between last week’s 20-13 win over then-No. 1 Brandon and next week’s clash with Meridian.
Hattiesburg High is hoping to keep its momentum going in Region 4-6A when the Tigers travel to Gulfport in a clash of 3-0 teams in the region.
The Tigers have won three straight games in region play after an 0-4 start, while the Admirals are 6-1 overall.
Unbeaten Laurel will also try to avoid a trap game tonight when the Golden Tornadoes host Natchez, ahead of next week’s Region 3-5A showdown at Wayne County.
In Region 5-4A, Forrest County AHS will look to rebound from last week’s tough 35-32 loss to Quitman, as the Aggies host Northeast Lauderdale.
Purvis faces a major test tonight when the Tornadoes host McComb in a critical Region 7-4A clash. Purvis is 1-1 in region, while the Tigers are 2-0.
Also in 7-4A, Columbia will look to remain unbeaten in region play as the Wildcats travel to Lawrence County. Columbia has won five straight after opening the season with two losses.
Seminary will entertain West Marion in a big Region 8-3A contest. The Bulldogs are 2-0 in region. Also in 8-3A, Perry Central is at home against Sumrall.
Richton hopes to get back on track after back-to-back losses in Region 8-2A, as the Rebels travel to Mize, which is 2-0 in region. Also, Taylorsville travels to Bay Springs for a clash of 2-0 teams in 8-2A.
Bassfield will get its first serious challenge in Region 7-2A when it hosts Amite County, which is 2-0 in region.
One of the biggest games of the season in Class 1A will be played at Stringer, when the Red Devels host Lumberton. Both teams are 4-1 in Region 4-1A, trailing undefeated Bogue Chitto, which plays Saturday at Resurrection.
Also in 4-1A, Sacred Heart and Mount Olive will each be looking for their first wins in region when the two teams meet at San Antonio Field in downtown Hattiesburg.
In MAIS, Presbyterian Christian hosts Lamar in an important game in District 2-AAA. The Bobcats, 3-0 in district, can ill-afford to look past the Raiders, who are 3-1 in the district.
In other Pine Belt action tonight, West Jones is at home against Wingfield, South Jones hosts Brookhaven, Northeast Jones hosts Newton County, Collins entertains McLaurin, North Forrest is at Heidelberg, East Marion is at West Lincoln and Columbia Academy is at Jackson Prep.