Updated: Oxford falls 49-7 to Tupelo Golden Wave

Published 6:32 pm Sunday, September 17, 2023

Oxford faced a familiar opponent Friday as they faced the Tupelo Golden Wave in nonregion action. The Golden Wave used an early start on both sides of the ball as they scored two touchdowns early to take control of the game and cruise to a 49-7 win.

Tupelo (4-0) started the scoring early as they scored two touchdowns in the first 22 seconds of the first half. Jeremiah Harrell connected with Braylon Mathews for an 80-yard touchdown pass on the Golden Waves opening possession. On the ensuing Charger possession, Golden Wave sophomore Jareylan Mccoy picks up a Charger fumble and runs in from 9 yards out to put the Golden Wave up 14-0 after the PAT.

The Oxford defense would bend but not break the rest of the half keeping the Golden Wave out of the end zone. The Defense forced an interception received by Ja’ Lyen Judson, a missed field goal, and a turnover on downs.

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Oxford’s first-half touchdown was scored by Jamarion Pegues on an 8-yard run. The touchdown was set up after the Charger defense forced a turnover on downs in their own territory.

“Things are never as good as they seem, and they are never as bad as they seem. Our focus on the season, especially the early part of the season before region play, is on improvement,” said Oxford Head Coach Chris Cutcliffe

The third quarter is one Oxford will want to forget as the Tupelo defense forced three Charger interceptions leading to 28 unanswered points to put the game away for Tupelo. Mitchell Grandjean threw two of the three interceptions in the quarter while his brother Peter Grandjean threw the other. Jaboree Dooley, Damari Burton and Dillon Ruth were on the receiving end of the interceptions for the Golden Wave.

Tupelo would start the second half the same way they started the first when Harrell found Quay Middlebrooks for a 72-yard touchdown.

“Whether you win big or lose big, you have to look for an issue that you can grow on and look how to improve. You have to go in and attack the issue next week,” Cutcliffe.

The Golden Wave would capitalize off each turnover in the third quarter as Harrell would connect with JQ Witherspoon for an 11-yard score on the first drive. Harrell would run in on fourth and goal for a 1-yard score on the next, and sophomore Jaeden Hill would seal the game on a 57-yard touchdown late in the third.

The Golden Wave would add one more score after an Oxford fumbled punt was returned to the 5-yard line. Zachoryian Baskins would finish the job the next play to make the score 49-7 after the PAT.

The Tupelo defense forced Oxford to turn the ball five times on the night. All five drives led to touchdowns for the Golden Wave. The Golden Wave defense held Oxford in check by keeping their offense to 150 yards of total offense on the night. The Golden Wave held over to 5 of 14 passing. Oxford allowed 427 yards of offense against the Golden Wave.

“Give them credit – they are a very good football team. We turn it over a few times right there in the second half, and nothing good is going to come from that,” said Cutcliffe.

Oxford falls to 2-2 on the season with the loss. Oxford will look to end their two-game losing streak next Friday, Sept. 22 as they travel to Starkville to face the Starkville Yellow Jackets (3-1) in the Little Egg Bowl. This game will be a nonregion game. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.