Chargers roll into second round

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Hosting Starkville after big 2OT win

The Oxford Chargers, with their backs against the wall, found a way to advance to the second round of the 7A playoffs, winning in double overtime against Germantown 47-44 on Friday, Nov. 10.

The game was back and forth all night as the game featured 11 lead changes and 2 ties. The second half and overtime had 65 combined points between the two teams. Oxford came into the second half with a 16-10 lead.

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The Mavericks went on their second five-minute plus drive of the game when Lawson Branson scored from 16 yards out with 6:06 left on their opening possession of the third quarter. 

Oxford answered with a 12-yard touchdown pass from M. Grandjean to Jack Harper to give Oxford the 23-17 lead. Germantown came right back with a 1-play 84-yard scoring drive with the 84-yard touchdown pass from Hood to Trae Stevenson to take a 24-23 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Wilkinson kicked another 44-yard field goal at the start of the fourth quarter to give Oxford the lead again 26-24. Germantown milked the clock and kicked a 30-yard field goal to give the Mavericks the 27-24 lead. 

Oxford drove down the field to set up another Wilkinson field goal, but the Charger kicker pushed it left for a rare miss with 2:55 left. The Mavericks capitalized on the momentum when Dakota Haralson rushed for a touchdown from 65 yards out. 

Germantown could have sealed the game if the runner had chosen to go down early, but he elected to score to give the Mavericks a 34-26 lead with a little over a minute to go.

The Oxford squad did not panic.  The Charger’s sophomore quarterback Mitchell Grandjean led the Chargers down the field with his arm and legs before finding Jay Brown who broke a tackle and ran for a 57-yard touchdown to put the Chargers within two. Oxford used a play called the “Philly Special” made famous by the Philadelphia Eagles in their Super Bowl win in 2018 to tie the game.  

Zae Lewis using the misdirection found M. Grandjean open in the endzone for the easy conversion. The “Charger Special” worked.  In the first overtime, Oxford would get the ball first and waste little time scoring when M. Grandjean ran in for the score from 6 yards out on the second play of overtime. The Mavericks answered on fourth and goal when Haralson ran in from 2 yards out.

The Oxford defense held Germantown to a field goal in the second overtime to set up a chance for the win. Oxford lined up at the 10 and Grandjean ran the first play for 7 yards to set up the game-winning run. Jack Harper  finished the comeback for Oxford with a 3-yard touchdown run to give the Chargers the win.

“I am so proud of the way we fought, and how we believed even when it looked bleak. We had our backs against the wall, and we had some guys step up and make huge plays to get the win,” said Oxford Head Coach Chris Cutcliffe.

Grandjean finished the night 16-30 for 258 yards and 3 touchdowns. He added 75 yards on the ground.

Germantown’s offense finished the night with 478 yards outgaining the Oxford offense by 40 yards. The Chargers had 438 yards and improved to 8-3 on the season with the win.

Oxford will return to action  Friday as they face off with the Starkville Yellow Jackets in the second round of the 7A playoffs.

Starkville comes into the second round of the playoffs with an 8-3 record after finishing third place in region 7A-2.  Starkville defeated Southaven 44-0 to advance to Friday’s game.

This will be the second time they face off against Starkville this season.  

Starkville won the first matchup 33-13. Starkville is led by senior quarterback Trey Petty and athlete Braylon “Stonka” Burnside.  Petty was most recently named Mr.7A football by the Mississippi Association of Coaches.  

The University of Illinois commit is 143-218 passing for 1915 yards, 20 touchdowns, and  4 interceptions this season . He has added 733 yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground. Burnside plays both ways for the Yellow Jackets. The senior athlete has 54 receptions for 733 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season while adding 24 tackles and one forced fumble defensively.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Bobby Holcomb Field.