It's win or go home in the playoffs.
"We're not ready to go home yet," said Oak Grove head coach Drew Causey.
Oak Grove handled business on Friday night, beating Ocean Springs, 31-20, in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
The Warriors took control from the outset, scoring a touchdown on a pass from Alex Ward to Kendall Parham for the 13-yard score, with 9:28 left in the first quarter.
In turn, the Greyhounds faced third-and-long on their first possession of the game, when senior Warrior Bryan Burkett came down with an interception and returned it to the house to put Oak Grove up 14-0 with 7:59 left in the first quarter.
The Greyhounds were playing from behind the proverbial eight-ball early.
"As bad as things went, we still had a chance," said Greyhound coach Ryan Ross. "Keep fighting, keep scratching, keep clawing. You'll never know what will happen."
What actually happened was surprising. With a power-running style, the Greyhounds grit-and-grind offense produced enough, just not enough when it counted.
"Every ball game there is going to be ups and downs. Just hope that you have more ups than you have downs," Causey said.
Oak Grove was not without its mistakes. Ward threw two picks, but both of them were off tipped balls.
"You're going to have mistakes," Causey said. "The key is tonight, we overcame the mistakes we made."
A weird series of events came along early in the fourth quarter when Ward threw a tipped pass that was intercepted, giving the Greyhounds great field position at the Oak Grove 19-yard line. Ocean Springs ran the ball right up the gut, and fumbled it. Oak Grove recovered and started a drive of their own 15.
In just one play, the Warriors capitalized. Junior running back Aaron Abram took an off-tackle handoff 85 yards, breaking numerous tackles along the way, to put the Warriors ahead 31-14.
"Our guys came out really locked in and focused," Causey said. "They executed on both sides of the ball and we're proud of them."
The Warriors excelled in all three phases of the game, holding the Greyhounds to just two scores, until a late fade pass from senior quarterback Drew Windham to junior receiver Austin Williams.
"We've beaten a lot of folks we probably shouldn't have beat," Ross said. "They play with a lot of heart and they love each other, play hard together and they've been doing this since they were in middle school."
Oak Grove (10-2) will travel to Meridian next week.