BLOG — It took a while for Oxford’s offense to get going, but once it did, it was hard for the Saltillo defense to slow it down.
Kenzie Phillips, especially.
Phillips, Oxford’s sophomore tailback, exploded for 146 yards in the second half and scored a pair of touchdowns as the Chargers pulled away late for a 31-7 road victory over the Tigers Friday night to remain unbeaten.
Phillips ran for 71 yards in the first two quarters to finish with 217 yards. That accounted for nearly half of the Chargers’ yardage output in the first half as Oxford ran into a stingy Saltillo defense that limited the Chargers to one score — a 4-yard touchdown pass from QB Jack Abraham to TE Zach Cousar midway through the second quarter — in the first 24 minutes.
Saltillo marched 47 yards on its first possession of the second half to draw even at 7-7 following a 7-yard touchdown run.
Then Phillips and the Oxford offensive front took over.
Phillips bounced off a couple of Tiger defenders on his way to a 9-yard score late in the third quarter before coming back on the Chargers’ next possession and scampering into the end zone from 28 yards out with 41 seconds left in the frame to put Oxford ahead 24-7.
“Our o-line, they had some great blocks in the second half,” Phillips said. “I saw the hole, and I just hit it.”
Phillips, who got 11 of his 19 carries in the final two quarters, also ripped off runs of 30 and 57 yards. Oxford coach Johnny Hill said it wasn’t a coincidence that Phillips had his number called more and more as the game wore on.
“He’s a war daddy now. He really is,” Hill said. “He’s so durable, he hangs on to the football and he can catch the football, so he’s a complete back. We’re going to ride him as long as we can ride him.”
Below is a video of Phillips talking about his performance and the win, which moved Oxford to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in Region 1-5A play.
The Chargers’ defense also did its part. Going up against what had a been a potent Saltillo rushing attack all season, Oxford yielded just 185 total yards. Tiger RB Diamante Pounds, who entered the contest having already racked up 975 yards in six games, finished with just 73 yards on 22 carries.
Check Monday’s print edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage of tonight’s game. (October 5, 2013)