Chargers hosting Hernando for senior night
Published 9:41 am Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Oxford putting 4-0 region record on line Thursday
Last Friday’s game against Lewisburg was not easy for Oxford as the Chargers had to come back from a 21-point deficit in the first half to come away with their 11th region title in school history with a 35-28 win over the Patriots.
The Charger defense forced Lewisburg to fourth down, but the Patriots jumped on the board when Elliot Helps faked a punt for a 65-yard touchdown run.
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The Patriots added to their score in the second quarter with a Gunner Gilmore to Easton Fesmire 15-yard touchdown pass. The Patriots extended their lead with a blocked Charger punt that was recovered by Eli Turner in the endzone.
The Chargers erased the 21-point deficit quickly with 3 long scoring drives to score 21 unanswered points in the second quarter.
Michell Grandjean found Zae Lewis from 37 yards out for the Charger’s first points of the game. M. Grandjean would find Dane Harmon who ran it 56 yards for a score on the next drive.
The sophomore quarterback got in on the action the next drive when he ran it in from 54 yards out. The Patriots answered back before halftime when Gilmore found Fesmire for an 80-yard touchdown to go up 28-21 after the Point after attempt.
Oxford (6-3, 4-0 Region 1-7A) would not give Lewisburg many chances in the second half as the Chargers used their physicality to shut out the Patriots and run away with the game in the second half.
Oxford started the second half by using a physical downhill running attack to move the ball down on the Patriot defense. The drive was capitalized by a Jay Brown 12-yard touchdown.
The Chargers took the lead early in the fourth quarter when Brown broke two tackles and ran in from 31 yards out to make the score 35-28 after the point-after attempt. The touchdown was set up by a M. Grandjean to Levi Blount 31-yard reception to put the Chargers in Patriot territory.
The Oxford offense ran for 178 yards in the second half. 110 of the rushing yards came on the physical running of senior running back Jay Brown. The Oxford defense would hold the Patriots to 4-11 passing for 78 yards in the second half after allowing 232 in the first half.
“A lot of credit to them. They came out firing on all cylinders and took it to us early. They played a lot better than we did earlier. You have to give them a lot of credit for that. I thought we did a great job of sticking to the plan and doing what we do,” said Oxford Head Coach Chris Cutcliffe.
Oxford finished with 556 yards of offense on the night. Mitchell Grandjean went 14-22 passing for 276 yards with 1 passing touchdown and 140 yards on the ground with 1 rushing touchdown.
Grandjean threw one interception on the night. Jay Brown would rush for 133 yards and two touchdowns on the night after rushing for 110 yards in the second half.
Oxford clinched Region 1-7A with the win and a Hernando loss to Southaven, but a win in their final region game will give them an undefeated region record going into the playoffs.
Oxford’s opponent for the playoffs has yet to be determined for the first round on Nov. 10.
Oxford will return to action Thursday, Nov. 2, as they host the Hernando Tigers for Senior Night at Bobby Holcomb Field.
Hernando(4-5, 2-2 Region 1-7A) comes into the game with a two-game losing streak after starting Region play 2-0.
The Tigers are led offensively by quarterback Christopher Jones. Jones is 71-118 passing for 856 yards and 7 touchdowns. Jones has rushed for 334 yards and 7 touchdowns. Tyler Starnes is the leading receiver with 499 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns. Defensively the Tigers are led by Hallas Lawson who has 45 tackles on the season.