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Oxford defeats South Panola, improves to 2-0 in 1-6A

By Jared Redding

The Chargers didn’t blink. As a result, they won their fifth straight game.

Oxford overcame a two score deficit in the first quarter to defeat the South Panola Tigers 35-21 at Bobby Holcomb Field. This is Oxford’s first win against the Tigers since 1991. The Chargers (5-1) are now 2-0 in region play for the first time since 2015.

The Chargers found themselves in a hole early by giving up a opening drive touchdown and throwing a 49-yard pick-six to make the score 13-0 in the first quarter.

“I thought we came out a little flat,” OHS head coach Chris Cutcliffe said. “We had some penalties. We didn’t execute well on either side of the ball and special teams. I wasn’t very pleased with our focus to start the game, but I was very proud of us for not hanging our head and pouting when that happened and just recovering and play great to finish the first half.”

Oxford responded with four straight touchdown drives, including a 19-yard touchdown pass from John Meagher to J.J. Pegues with four seconds left until halftime. The Chargers went into the locker room up 28-13.

The Tigers (2-5, 0-2) clawed their way back into the game in the third quarter, but a Jack Tannehill punt downed inside the South Panola 10 yard-line and a shanked Tigers punt set the Chargers up to ice the game with J.J. Pegues. He scored with 2:16 left in the game.

“It is a credit to what out guys do day in and day out,” Cutcliffe said. “That is something we talk about a lot. Your habits are going to show up on Friday night. If you train that way all the time, you don’t blink if something doesn’t go your way.”

John Meagher had a career night with four touchdown passes to go along with his 249 passing yards.

“They really challenged us to throw the ball by loading the box,” Cutcliffe said. “Fortunately for us we had some guys step up and make plays and John put the ball where it needed to be.”

J.J. Pegues scored four total touchdowns on the night, three through the air and one on the ground. Derrius Pegues also caught a touchdown from Meagher in the first half.

Up next for the Chargers is a trip to Southaven for the second time in three weeks to take on the DeSoto Central Jaguars on Thursday.