Oak Grove (Hattiesburg, Miss.) is finally back to full strength and for the first time this season looked like the team that we thought they would be when they started the season as one of the top 5 teams in the MagnoliaPreps.com Power Rankings. On Friday night they fought past a late start, in climate weather, a soggy field and a very tough Meridian (Miss.) squad to claim a 28-21 win over the No. 2 ranked Wildcats.
Oak Grove almost slid completely out of the polls after last weeks shocking 48-45 loss at Natchez. Meridian on the other hand had little problems with Natchez defeating the Bulldogs 35-0 when they played earlier this season.
The game was televised state-wide on a number of broadcast and cable outlets as part of Cellular South's Us vs. Ya'll Series.
With the win Oak Grove snapped Meridian's 19-game winning streak (longest in the state) and really shakes things up not only in the Top 20 but also in the all important Region 3-6A title hunt.
Despite missing a field goal on the opening possession of the game Oak Grove took advantage of an early turn-over by the Wildcats on their own 23 yard line. Senior Steve McNair, Jr. finished the Warrior's second possession with a 9 yard touchdown run to put Oak Grove on top 7-0 after a successful PAT.
Meridian got on the scoreboard with just over 10 minutes left in the second quarter when Michael Hubbard plunged into the end-zone from seven yards out. Meridian was unsuccessful on the PAT and Oak Grove maintained a 7-6 lead.
Oak Grove would answer on the ensuing drive. Quarterback James McMahon would hit Jonathan Duncan for a 24-yard scoring play. After the PAT, Oak Grove would take a 14-6 lead into the locker room at the half.
Meridian would tie the ball game early in the third quarter with a Keyna Roberts pushed into the zone from a yard out. Meridian was successful on the 2-pt conversion to tie the game at 14 apiece.
The Warriors would take the lead for good with four minutes left to play in the third when McMahon found a streaking Dylan Fedora for a 41-yard pass play. The PAT put the Warriors up 21-14 and they wouldn't relinquish the lead in route to the 28-21 victory.
Warrior quarterback James McMahon passed for 250 yards and three scores, but got great ground support. Jay Hughes rushed the ball 22 times for 140 yards. McNair rushed the ball six times for 24 yards and a touchdown. Robert Johnson also pulled in a touchdown for the Warriors.
With the win Oak Grove improves to 5-1 (2-1) while Meridian falls to 6-1 (2-1).
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