Bye week for Chargers before region games

Published 8:17 am Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Oxford now 2-3; travels to Horn Lake next week

Oxford football will have an open date this weekend, giving players and staff an opportunity to make adjustments and tweaks that will put the Chargers in position to end a three game losing streak.

Oxford opened the season with wins at Lafayette and South Panola before losing at home to Grenada and Tupelo. Last week’s 33-13 loss at Starkville was the last of the non-region games on the schedule.

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“We always talk about improving and try to get better every week, especially in the non-region 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 head coach Chris Cutcliffe.

The Chargers will travel to DeSoto County next Friday to open region play against the Horn Lake Eagles.

Horn Lake beat Oakhaven 45-0 last week for its first win of the season. The Eagles opened the season with losses to Southwind, Lafayette, Olive Branch, and Lake Cormorant.

Last week, they fell behind early against Starkville (4-1) who 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 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,” Cutcliffe said.

 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.

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 in the contest.

At the halfway mark of the season, Oxford has 1,150 yards of offense. The Chargers are led by brothers Peter and Mitchell Grandjean at quarterback. The combo has passed for 525 yards and 3 touchdowns on the season.

 The Chargers have rushed for 625 yards and 9 touchdowns. They are led by senior Jaquavious Brown with 258 yards and 3 touchdowns. Junior Levi Blount leads the Chargers in receiving with 20 receptions and 216 yards with 3 touchdowns. 

“We have two weeks to get ready for Horn Lake. We talk about half the region is going to start 0-1 next week, and we want to be on the opposite side of that record,” said Cutcliffe.