Oak Grove breaks state championship rushing record in a 62-36 trouncing of Haynesville for its fourth state title in five years

Oak Grove’s rushing attack was too much for Haynesville as the Tigers rushed for a state title game record 402 yards in its 62-36 victory in the Division IV (Non-Select) State Championship game.

Oak Grove (13-2) has won its fourth state title in five years. The Tigers also picked up its second victory over Haynesville (12-2) as it had beaten the Golden Tornado 61-27 on Oct. 6.

Oak Grove’s rushing attack was propelled by quarterback Jackson Bradley and running back Jay Freeman. Bradley, who was named the Most Outstanding Player from Oak Grove, had 23 rushes for 215 yards and three touchdowns. Freeman finished with 23 rushes for 173 yards and four touchdowns.

Oak Grove came out firing early as they scored with just under a minute and a half to go into the game on a five-play, 47-yard scoring drive that was finished off by a Bradley 29-yard rushing touchdown.

Defensively for Oak Grove, linebacker James Harris had seven total tackles, one tackle for loss, one interception and a pass breakup.

However, it did not take long for the Golden Tornado to respond. Haynesville quarterback Isaiah Washington threw a bomb to a wide-open Jemarquis Hampton for a 53-yard touchdown to tie the game up at 7-7 with 7:34 left in the first quarter.

Unfortunately for the Golden Tornado, that moment happened before disaster struck.

On the next play, Haynesville kicked the ball off to Oak Grove with the momentum shifting towards their side early in the game. However, Oak Grove junior cornerback TaMarques Prichard returned the kick 88 yards for a touchdown to give the Tigers a 14-7 lead with 7:21 left in the first quarter.

Bradley and Freeman each scored two touchdowns to make the score 41-7 with just under seven minutes to go in the first half. The highlight was when Bradley left everyone in the dust for a 74-yard touchdown.

The final touchdown of the first half was scored by Haynesville fullback/linebacker Byress Burns on a 68-yard touchdown when he ran up the gut untouched into the endzone to make the score 41-15 with 5:55 left in the second quarter. The score would remain the same going into the half. Burns finished with 91 rushing yards and recorded 11 total tackles on defense.

Nobody would score until late into the third quarter when Washington capped off Haynesville’s six-play 52-yard drive with a 12-yard rushing touchdown to cut into Oak Grove’s lead to make it a 41-23 ballgame.

However, Oak Grove would score fairly quickly when Freeman scored on a 31-yard scamper to extend the Togers’ lead to 48-23 with just seven seconds left in the third quarter.

Pritchard intercepted Washington’s pass and returned it to Haynesville’s 22-yard line, ultimately leading to another score as Freeman recovered a fumble in the end zone to give the Tigers a 55-23 lead with 10:04 to play in the game.

On Haynesville’s next possession, Washington scored on a quarterback sneak to make it 55-29 with 8:08 to play in the game after a failed 2-point conversion attempt.

Oak Grove’s final touchdown came on a 1-yard run by Madox Hurley to make it 62-29 with 6:45 to play in the game.

Tra Brooks found Hampton on a 29-yard touchdown throw to make it 62-36 with just over four minutes to play in the game.

Washington completed six of his 19 pass attempts for 113 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also had eight carries for 63 yards and two scores. His performance gave him the Most Outstanding Player for the Golden Tornado.