Oxford begins new journey in 2-6A against Murrah

Published 11:20 am Thursday, September 23, 2021

They hay is in the barn for Oxford as week five of the high school football season brings the start of what many coaches dub the ‘second season.’

Region play begins for Class 5A and 6A teams on Friday, bringing the true beginning of the run to the postseason. For the Chargers, it brings a brand new journey.

The Chargers (2-2) are having to regroup after suffering their first back-to-back losses since losing to Southaven and South Panola in consecutive weeks during the 2017 season.

The opportunity to bounce back comes on Friday as they begin life in a new region, hosting Murrah (1-3) for Homecoming to open their Region 2-6A schedule. The Mustangs are coming off their first win of the season, defeating Port Gibson 15-12 last week.

Murrah did not play last year as all Jackson Public Schools sat out the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have enough film at this point, four games into the season, and I think we have a good feel for Murrah,” said Oxford head coach Chris Cutcliffe. “They have a lot of team speed. They fly to the football on defense. That’s one of the things that popped out on film.”

Several of the Chargers new region opponents are familiar foes, as they have played many of them in previous seasons in non-region games. When it comes to Murrah, it is the first time Cutcliffe has ever faced them as either a player or a coach.

Having the ability to play a brand new opponent excites Cutcliffe and presents new challenges as their is very little film on Murrah outside of this season since Jackson Public School teams did not participate in the 2020 football season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it’s cool,” Cutcliffe said. “I guess I’m a history buff in some sense and I love looking back at the history of Oxford football and seeing different things. I do kind of get excited to play somebody new. I think it’s a fun challenge for the program.”

Oxford and Murrah are set to kickoff at 7 p.m. at Bobby Holcomb Field. The game can be heard locally on 95.5 FM.