Photo/Zac Chamblee

John Rhys Plumlee has dazzled audiences on a weekly basis for about three years now. There was his burst onto the scene moment in 2016 where he led Oak Grove to an upset win over Hattiesburg as a sophomore. Last year, he had that herculean performance in a losing effort against rival Petal. His latest performance against the Panthers no doubt ranks above them all, though. 

Plumlee totaled 387 total yards (201 rushing, 186 passing) and six touchdowns in leading his Warriors to a 48-35 win over the Panthers in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs. Though his individual numbers were off the chart and he earned our Week 14 Sports601 Hattiesburg Player of the Week honors, Plumlee was not prepared to take credit for the win—Oak Grove’s second this year against Petal. 

“The offensive line had a really good game for us,” Plumlee said. “It was obviously a really big game and a really exciting game, especially when you get to play your crosstown rival in a second round playoff game. I really just did the easy stuff. The o-line got a lot of pushes and made a lot of holes for us. I just got to pull the ball and run it.”

The Georgia commit did just that on multiple occasions. Most notably, he sealed the win with an 80-yard touchdown run with 2:53 left in the fourth quarter. 

“It was a designed run for me,” Plumlee said of the play. “We were faking the outside zone, and I think we were pulling a tight end to crash the nose guard. I pulled it, he crashed the nose guard and I followed my blockers. Once there were no safeties in the middle of the field, it was kind of like the Petal run I did last year.”

The only real difference was that Oak Grove came out on the winning end this year. 

“It’s a really neat feeling,” Plumlee said. “There’s a lot of chatter going back and forth on Twitter and stuff. It gets really competitive, and I like the atmosphere. The more competitive it gets, the more fun it becomes. It’s really a fun game to play in, especially going to South State after beating Petal.”

Plumlee and the Warriors will travel to face Region 3-6A foe Brandon in the South State round this Friday. The winner will advance to face either Horn Lake or Madison Central in the Class 6A State Championship game, which will be played at Southern Miss’ M.M. Roberts Stadium next Friday. 

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