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Oxford’s defense comes alive in shutout of Grenada

By Jared Redding

GRENADA — Three opponent drives, three plays, three forced turnovers, three touchdowns. That is how the Oxford Chargers began the third quarter of play.

Oxford (1-2) took care of business at Grenada (1-2) and defeated them 39-0 to get their first victory of 2018. The Chargers now await rival Lafayette next week for the annual Crosstown Classic at Bobby Holcomb Field.

“Obviously, we had things that we definitely had to work on,” head coach Chris Cutcliffe said. “We worked on them all week. It (last week’s loss) was not something we dwelled on. We’re trying to get better every week and try to be playing well when we get to district play.”

After giving up the most points in decades, Oxford’s defense rose to the occasion Friday. Their explosive start to begin the second half made the dam burst.

“Turnovers is the number one stat in football. It determines wins and loses. It was something we’ve emphasized everyday. So I was glad to see us on both sides of the ball come out how we like to off of turnovers,” Cutcliffe said. “We had a big emphasis on getting better at tackling. I thought we tackled better tonight.”

The Chargers tallied seven turnovers on the night, all of which came in the second half. Scott Norphlet had two interceptions. Byron Pearson also had two interceptions, and a pick-six late in the third quarter. Kiyon Williams was also able to grab one in that quarter.

Oxford also recovered two fumbles. They recovered one on the first play of the second half and the other under 10 seconds left to play in the game. Ron Person, Ashur Hickinbottom and Kylin Dukes each led the team in tackles with six.

The Pegues family had themselves a night offensively, scoring four touchdowns in between J.J. Pegues, DeDe Pegues and Derrius Pegues. J.J. had three carries for 27 yards and two scores.

“Offensively, we still have to continue taking care of the ball and find ways to finish drives,” Cutcliffe said. “We had a few times where we had good field position and didn’t finish drives to the end zone. It is something we have to continue getting better at.”

Quarterback John Meagher went 6-15, 144 yards and had two touchdowns through the air. Jack Tannehill was also able to tack on 3 points with a short field goal in the third quarter.