By: Austin Heusser, Staff Reporter
Oak Grove Warrior football stomped into the 2011-2012 games with a bang kicking off the season at home against the Sumrall Bobcats. The Warriors got their first hint of success in front of a screaming student section as they defeated the Sumrall Bobcats 52-0. After that victory, the Warriors traveled to their first away game against the Purvis Tornadoes where they continued their success by gaining another win with a score of 35-21.
The following week, the then 2-0 Warriors prepared for their next opponent, the Laurel Golden Tornadoes. Oak Grove defeated them 17-3. With a record of 3-0, Coach Barr began preparing his players for the hardest game of the season yet. Just coming off of a victory over the infamous South Panola High School, Gulfport High School set its crosshairs on the Warriors. Little did they know what awaited them on that Friday night. The Warriors, led by senior quarterback Steven Swindle, forced Gulfport into a submissive defeat of 31-14.
The Warriors then hopped on the bus and headed to Forest Hill High, where they brought their record to an impressive 5-0. The following week, the student body eagerly awaited the weekend game against the Warriors fierce rivals the Petal Panthers. On that cool Fall night, the Warriors charged into the stadium amidst screaming fans. The Warriors fought hard in the first half achieving three touchdowns and forcing a safety making the score at halftime 23-12 Oak Grove. Petal came back with a vengeance in the second half, expanding their score to a three touchdown lead. Oak Grove answered back with multiple touchdowns and increased their score to 37; however, the Panthers continued to score with an impressive 54 points.
After losing to the Panthers 54-37, the Warriors held their heads high as they walked off of the field. “We fought through the final whistle, and there’s no shame in that,” center Allen Cummins said after the game. Hopefully this mentality will go with the Warriors tonight as they travel to Meridian to face the Wildcats, ranked #3 in the state.