Oxford defeats Southaven for playoff berth

Published 1:41 pm Saturday, October 21, 2023

Oxford used an early lead to stay undefeated in region play defeating the Southaven Chargers 29-7 to clinch a playoff berth.

Oxford (5-3, 3-0 Region 1-7A) got on the board early in the first quarter when Sophomore quarterback Mitchell Grandjean scrambled and found fellow Sophomore James Blackwood for a 10-yard touchdown. Oxford would go for 2 on the point-after attempt. William Wilkinson found Peter Grandjean for the conversion to go up 8-0. Oxford wouldn’t wait long for their next score on the next offensive possession Mitchell Grandjean found Zae Lewis for a 53-yard touchdown.

Southaven(1-7, 1-2 Region 1-7A) would cause Oxford to punt on their next possession, but a muffed punt by Southaven would be recovered by Fisher Giles to give Oxford the ball on the Southaven 12-yard line. Oxford would score three plays later when Jaquavious Brown ran in for a 3-yard score. Southaven would add a late touchdown when Britton Stovall found a tight end running down the sideline for a 28-yard touchdown.

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“We thought we came out of the gate and played well in all phases,” said Oxford Head football coach Chris Cutcliffe.

In the second half, both teams’ defenses would keep the offenses in the stable until Oxford broke the drought with a blocked punt by Kamar Houston that set Oxford up at the Southaven 38-yard line. Mitchell Grandjean would find Levi Blount, who made a one-handed grab for 33 yards to set up first and goal for the Chargers from Oxford. Jamarion Pegues would punch it in from 3 yards out to extend the lead to 29-7 after the point-after attempt.

Southaven would force the Oxford offense into a turnover when Mitchell Grandjeans’ fumble was picked up by Natori Brown. The Oxford defense would force Southaven into three turnovers on downs in the second half to seal the victory for Oxford.

“As the game wore on we really didn’t finish drives offensively, but we played great defense and special teams for most of the night. So it was a good night,” said Cutcliffe.

Oxford finished the night with 255 yards of offense. Mitchell Grandjean finished the night 12-18 for 164 yards and two touchdowns. The Oxford defense held the Southaven passing offense to 10-33 and 82 yards. Southaven had 230 yards of offense on the night.

 Oxford clinched a playoff berth and sole possession of first place after Friday’s region win after Hernando lost 35-21 to Desoto Central.

“Goal number one when we get to region play is to get in the playoffs, and now we know we are in. We have other goals in front of us, and we can attack those goals now,” said Cutcliffe.

Oxford will return to action next Friday as they travel back to Desoto County to face the Lewisburg Patriots(6-2, 2-1 Region 1-7A).