Drexlan Allen and his Hattiesburg Tigers put on a show and put the state on notice Friday night at Oak Grove. Behind five touchdowns from Allen, the Tigers dominated the previously unbeaten Warriors, 51-19, and improved to 4-0 on the season.
“I thought we were fun to watch tonight,” said Tiger coach Tony Vance. “I thought we played like I expected us to play. We’re not there yet, but I thought I saw some signs and some things that are really, really good.”
Along with his coaching staff, players and many fans in attendance, Vance wore red during the game to honor the life of Derek Jarvis—a former assistant coach at Hattiesburg and Oak Grove who passed away in May. After presenting Jarvis’ wife, Sadora, with the game ball, Vance said the win was “For Coach Red and his family.”
“Of course there’s always going to be some things we have to work on and fix, but I’m super proud of our guys and our coaching staff.”
Vance’s Tigers started fast on Friday night, jumping out to a 16-0 lead in the first quarter after two touchdown runs from Allen.
“It was pretty much the play calls,” said Allen of his performance. “The coaches put me in position, and I just did the rest with my vision and my cutbacks.”
Hattiesburg quarterback Jarod Conner added a rushing score of his own in the second, as the Tigers extended their lead 23-0.
At the midpoint of the quarter, Oak Grove scored its first points off an eight-yard run from Nick Milsap. Afterwards, Hattiesburg took a 23-7 lead into halftime.
Not much changed in the second half, as Hattiesburg outscored Oak Grove 28-12 the rest of the way en route to the 51-19 win. Allen added three more touchdowns in the half—two on the ground and one through the air from Conner—and finished with 149 rushing yards on just 15 carries.
“It’s amazing. My teammates and offensive linemen put me in this position,” said Allen. “Without them and my quarterback, I can’t tell you what else. Without them, there wouldn’t be five touchdowns or any of them yards.”
Just two days ago, Allen picked up his first Division I offer from Florida Atlantic University, but Vance still views him as the state’s most underrated player.
“Some of these in-state colleges and universities I don’t understand, I promise you I don’t,” said Vance. “I’m not trying to put pressure on them, but you’re missing out on a great football player in Drexlan Allen.”
John Rhys Plumlee led Oak Grove in the loss, accounting for two touchdowns (1 passing, 1 rushing). The passing score went to Liam Breithaupt for 77 yards in the third quarter.
Both Hattiesburg and Oak Grove will be on byes next week and next be in action on Friday, Sept. 21. The Tigers (4-0) will travel to Gautier, and the Warriors (3-1) will host George County.