Oak Grove is headed back to the playoffs this year for the first time since 2015. The Warriors have of course benefitted from their John Rhys Plumlee-led offense but also a defense that has really turned it up a notch in recent weeks, according to fourth-year coach Drew Causey.
“We’ve played really well probably the last six or seven weeks defensively,” Causey said. “We’re showing up to work every day ready to go. I would contribute our defense right now for us being 8-2 and for the majority of those victories because they kept people from getting in the end zone.”
The unit limited defending Class 6A champion Pearl to 13 points this past Friday, and as a result, Oak Grove picked up a signature victory at home, 21-13. Junior outside linebacker Javarian Jenkins led the effort with a career-high 22 tackles in the win.
Jenkins is our Week 11 Sports601 Hattiesburg Player of the Week.
“He [Jenkins] played lights out all night long,” Causey said. “He came up with a couple of big stops and had some really big hits that definitely got the momentum going in our direction. I’m just really proud of him.”
Added Jenkins, “I really just played for my team. Like I told our linebackers before we came out, it was up to us to win this game. I told them we had to step up, and we stepped up.”
For Jenkins, it all started the week leading up to the contest in practice.
“We had a real good week of practice,” Jenkins said. “We came out, and we worked hard. It paid off Friday.”
Through 10 games, the first-year starter now has 97 tackles to his name. Safe to say it’s been a successful debut season for him at Oak Grove.
“To me, I’ve done better than I did last year,” Jenkins said. “I just had to step and just play.”
Jenkins and the Warriors will conclude regular season play Thursday night at Jim Hill.