NEW HOPE — Oxford coach Johnny Hill has seen a lot in his 38 years of coaching but he admitted, following Friday night’s 39-14 win over New Hope, he had never seen a linebacker return a punt for a touchdown.
Michael McGhee’s return of a New Hope punt in the first quarter not only gave the Chargers’ their first score of the Region 1-5A game, it set the tone to how the special teams and defense would play the rest of the night. Making the punt return even more amazing and improbable is the fact that McGhee caught the pass at the top of his shoes, at what appeared to be a yard or two past the line of scrimmage.
A bevy of players saw action in the win for the Chargers, who improved to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in the region. The victory ensured a spot in next month’s MHSAA Class 5A playoffs for the Chargers, who will host the previously unbeaten Clarksdale Wildcats at Bobby Holcomb Field this coming Friday. CHS suffered its first loss, 44-40, to Lewisburg, a game the Wildcats led 34-17 at one point.
Oxford was never seriously threatened by the Trojans in Friday’s game even though its offense struggled to keep scoring drives moving. Most of the Chargers’ points came in the third quarter. They led 9-0 with 5:47 left in the second quarter when the OHS defense stopped Brenton Spann in the end zone on a rush.
The Chargers led 16-0 just two minutes later when Kenzie Phillips scored on a 4-yard run. The closest New Hope got to OHS came midway through the third quarter when quarterback Brady Davis hit tight end Jason Dickerson on a 22-yard reception.
Oxford answered the score on its next drive, a 65-yard possession that was capped when quarterback Jack Abraham found K.T. McCollins for an 8-yard touchdown. The Chargers’ first-team offense tacked on more touchdown before giving way to the reserves.
For more on Oxford’s win over the Trojans, see Monday’s edition of the EAGLE. (October 19, 2013)