Oak Grove running back Nick Milsap is no stranger to pressure. Last Friday evening the Wayne County War Eagles were drawing close to what once was a comfortable lead the Warriors had attained. With just over seven minutes to play, Oak Grove head coach Drew Causey challenged his offensive line and team. The goal was simple: drain the clock and walk away with the victory.
Milsap took that to heart.
Following creases made by his offensive line, he darted and dashed his way through the War Eagle defense. As Oak Grove drew close to the endzone, Milsap plowed through the middle of the line carrying defenders on his back. During the fight to the first down marker, the senior running back’s helmet flew off. Milsap spun to the ground. Immediately he arose, screaming at the sidelines to cheer louder and harder. The response to his energy was resounding.
Just a handful of plays later, Milsap put the stamp on the drive when he found the endzone, sealing the Warriors' first victory of 2019.
Causey knows what he has in his senior and is not surprised when Milsap makes plays like he did last Friday night.
“Nick is a heck of a football player. He runs well behind his pads. He does a great job and I’m proud of him and the way he has worked all off-season. He had a great summer workout session getting bigger and a lot stronger. We expect a lot out of him this year. We expect him to do what he did last Friday night and that is always run the ball hard. He had 15 carries, 105 yards, and a couple of touchdowns. That is something we expect out of him every week. He’s a hard kid to bring down.”
Milsap himself expressed his desire to be the every-down back that his coach knows he can be, while also being a leader that others can look to so they can feed off of his energy.
“This is where I need to prove what I can do to everyone. I just need to come out here and do the best I can every day and work hard. I try to lead by example. I’m trying to show everyone if you work hard, you can get what you deserve.”
Coming off of the 2018 season that saw Oak Grove win the South State title but fall to Horn Lake in the 6A State Championship, Milsap’s goal is to help his team get back to the mountaintop of 6A football.
“I want to be able to lead us to the State Championship off of what I can do and everyone else can do on the team. It will take all 22 guys starting just doing their job. If we can keep doing our jobs, we can make it.”
Causey pointed out that Milsap has worked on being a leader throughout the summer, how it has shown recently, and how it will factor in down the road.
“He’s done a good job of working on his leadership. He’s trying to be more vocal and we are proud of that. He’s just a heck of a player all around. Once we get further in the season we expect him to get more carries and he’s going to have to carry that too. We are looking forward to using him more and more.”
Milsap was quick to point out that while he is trying to be a more vocal leader, his teammates - specifically the offensive line - should receive their due credit.
“They [offensive linemen] are so important. Without them, I couldn’t make the cuts if I didn’t have the holes they make every down. They step up every play and do what they need to do so I can do what I need to do on this team.”
Milsap will look to keep being the vocal leader as the Oak Grove Warriors travel to Gulfport this Friday night to take on the Admirals (2-0). Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.