Coverage Breakdown: Oak Grove @ Purvis
Players to Watch:
Oak Grove Warriors
John Rhys Plumlee | QB
Plumlee started the season on the defensive side of the ball for the Warriors a season ago. He made the transition to quarterback and went on to show glimpses of greatness throughout the remainder of the season. He can do it all. He throws well on the run and knows when to tuck it away and get up field. This opener could be the beginning of a breakout season for one of the top up and coming signal callers in the state.
Kevin Barnett | WR
Barnett had a great sophomore season for Oak Grove. He hauled in 38 passes and nearly 20 yards per catch. At 6'3", Barnett uses his size and great speed to become an easy target for his quarterback. He was lights out last week in the preseason scrimmage and will more than likely be a favorite target for Plumlee in 2017.
Hayes Maples | LB
The play ends when Maples reaches the ball carrier. It's that simple. He is an old school ball hawk that arrives angry. Maple will need to contain Jon Bolton and keep him in front oh him at all times to keep the Tornadoes from getting the ground game going. Maples is also a great pass rusher and along with stuffing the run can also create chaos in the passing game.
CJ Bolar | ATH
Bolar can do a little bit of everything for the Tornadoes. He exploded onto the scene last season excelling not only at the wide receiver position but also at defensive back and special teams. Bolar used his size and athleticism to find the endzone from several different positions. This season he will not be able to surprise anyone as he has become one of the better known players in the state. Still expect to see the SES Elite 10 member shine in the season opener.
Jon Bolton | RB
Bolton could quite possibly be the hardest working running back in the state. He made the most of his action last season rushing over 1,000 yards even after missing games early in the war with an injury. Bolton has had a great summer and showed out last week in the preseason scrimmage. Look for Bolton to have his number called early and often as he will be running right into the teeth of one of the toughest linebackers in the state.
Ty Howell | QB
Howell did not have the breakout season a year ago that many in Tornado country were expecting. Bottom line, he just couldn't beat the injury bug. He did manage to put together solid numbers through the air and proved to be a threat on the ground as well in the action he did see. This season he hits the ground running healthy and ready. He will have his work cut out for him in this opener as one of the best pass rushers in the state will be laying his ears back and coming hard for Howell all night long.
Keys to the Game:
The Purvis defense will need to have several players step up this season and it all begins on Week 1. They will need to put pressure on Plumlee and keep him from hurting him with his legs. It will be a very tall order.
Oak Grove will need to find a way to move the football that does not involve Plumlee slinging it down field or scampering for first downs. They will need solid ground game production between the tackles.
In Week 1 it almost a certainty that the ball will be coughed up. The winner of this game will make the fewest mistakes. With teams this evenly matched, the deciding factor may come down to a late turnover.
This one comes down to potential heavy weight matchups between CJ Bolar (the defender) and Kevin Barnett the wide receiver. These two tall studs will be set to do battle. Who wins??
**Photo by Pat Causey/PineBeltSPORTS