Warriors to face another athletic quarterback Friday against Terry

By CAMAL PETRO,

The score read similar to a high school basketball, and Oak Grove Drew Causey joked his team made a lot of 3-points to beat Meridian 66-41.

Despite the 41-points scored against his team, Causey was pleased with how his defense played after the performance against Petal two weeks ago. But, it did prove difficult to stop junior Meridian quarterback Tevarrius Adams.

“It’s tough in the backend and the secondary at times,” Causey said. ‘Their quarterback is very athletic. He runs around a bunch and there would be times where we would be right there to sack him, and he’d get out of it. Just guys covering (the receivers) for five or six seconds makes it difficult. We were getting a lot of pressure, but he was slipping right through our hands sometimes. I was proud with how we bounced back and played.”

Causey only counts 20 of Meridian’s 41 points when it comes to points given up by his defense. The rest of the 21 points came because of special team mistakes. The Wildcats scored on a kickoff return, and twice Oak Grove fumbled on special teams, giving Meridian short fields for easy scores.

Regardless, Oak Grove still put up 66 points to give it a big district win. Now the Warriors (5-2, 2-1 in Region 3-6A) turn their attention to Terry (5-3, 1-2), which is coming off a shutout loss to Pearl.

The Bulldogs’ quarterback, Tyler McDaniel, has accounted for more than half of his team’s offense with 1,345 total yards. He’s passed for 552 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions on 44-of-78 passing. Terry only averages 88 yards through the air, though, and it rushes for 266 yards a game. He’s also rushed for 793 yards and 11 touchdowns on 106 rushing attempts.

Statistics from the 33-0 loss to Pearl last Friday were not made available.

“They have an athletic quarterback, and it seems like everybody we play has an athletic quarterback,” Causey said. “They have some really good guys on both sides of the ball.”

While the Oak Grove defense is facing yet another athletic quarterback, the Warriors’ offense will match up with a defense that likes to show different fronts. Last week’s loss to the state’s No. 2 team was the most any team has put up the Bulldogs this season.

Terry holds opponents to 13 points per game, it’s pitched a shutout and held four other teams to less than eight points. Florence (27), Brandon (21) and Pearl (33) are the only teams to score in double digits.

“They’ll line up in a three-down front, a four-down front and they’ll line up where everybody is standing up all over the place,” Causey said. “They do a lot of stuff to try and confuse your offensive line up front and mess up your blocking schemes.”

Causey said when teams do things like that, it takes at least a quarter to figure out what they’re doing and how to attack it. When teams have defensive players standing up near the line of scrimmage, the Oak Grove offensive linemen have to trust what he’s practiced all week.

“I always feel like when they do that, you’re trying to confuse the offensive line on who they’re supposed to block,” Causey said. “Every offensive line has calls and things like that, so I think it’s more or less trying to confuse you upfront on which gaps each player will take.

“Up front, you have to make sure you take the right steps, block your track and not worry about a man, really. Just block whoever comes to you, so that’s something we have to definitely prepare for and get ready for.”