UPDATED: Starkville controls game, takes Little Egg Bowl

Published 10:24 am Saturday, September 23, 2023

Oxford’s losing streak continued Friday as they got behind early against Starkville and fell 33-13.

Starkville (4-1) got the scoring started on their first possession when University of Illinois commit Trey Petty rushed in for a 12-yard score. Starkville would miss the point after attempt.

Oxford answered in the second quarter with a little trickery when Jamarion Pegues scored from 13 yards off a fake handoff from Peter Grandjean. Starkville ran the ball down the field and used a 3-yard touchdown from Jay Stevenson to take a 14-7 lead after the 2-point try was successful by Courtland Cooper. The Yellow Jackets would go on to score 19 unanswered points to seal the game for Starkville.

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The Yellowjackets would add another score late in the half when Petty danced his way into the end zone to put the Yellowjackets up 20-7 going into the half. The Yellow Jacket touchdown was set up with a 40-yard pass from Petty to Isaiah Witherspoon. Oxford couldn’t get much going in the first half on offense except the touchdown.

The Chargers started close to midfield on every drive in the first half. Oxford recovered an onside kick to start the second half, but could not advance the ball.

The Yellow Jackets capitalized and scored on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Petty to Mississippi State commit Braylon “Stonka” Burnside. Burnside forced an Oxford fumble the next drive and it was recovered by the Yellow Jackets. The Yellow Jackets behind a Cooper 20-yard rush drove down the field and capitalized off the turnover with a ricocheted pass from Petty that landed in the hands of Burnside for a 5-yard touchdown.

“I am always proud of the way our guys played the game. We are going to compete and play the game the right way, said Oxford Head football coach Chris Cutcliffe

The score showed 33-7 after the missed point after attempt. Oxford added a score in the fourth quarter with a Jaquavious Brown 2-yard touchdown to make the score 33-13.

“Hats off to Starkville – Coach Jones is a friend and does a great job. Their staff had them prepared and they made a few more plays than we did tonight,” said Cutcliffe.

Oxford falls to 2-3 on the season with the loss. Oxford has a bye next week. “We always talk about improving and try to get better every week, especially in the nonregion because now is when it matters for seeding and we will have to take it to another level for the start of region play,” said Cutcliffe.

Trey Petty went 7-9 on the night for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Starkville offense totaled 424 yards of offense against the Chargers. The Oxford offense had 203 yards of offense on the night. A bright spot for the Chargers on the night was the kickoff unit who recovered two onside kicks on the night.

The Chargers will return to action Oct. 6 as they travel to Desoto County to open region play against the Horn Lake Eagles.