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Friday, May 22, 2015

VIDEO BLOG: Oxford pummels Gators to reach perfection

BLOG — Oxford’s 2005 team has company.

QB Jack Abraham and RB Kenzie Phillips each accounted for two touchdowns, K.T. McCollins‘ interception return for a score highlighted a stingy defensive effort, and the third-ranked Chargers put a bow on a perfect season with a 45-17 victory over Lake Cormorant Friday night at Bobby Holcomb Field.

It’s the first time Oxford (11-0 overall, 7-0 in Region 1-5A) has run the table in the regular season in eight years.

“I’m very proud of them. They played hard and they got better,” Oxford coach Johnny Hill said. “We didn’t play timid the first half. Defense played great, offense did real well. (Lake Cormorant is) a good football team now, but we just put them in a bind in some places, and we were able to take advantage of it. All in all, I was real, real pleased.”

Oxford dominated from the start, marching 80 yards on the game’s opening drive to go up 7-0 on Abraham’s first of two touchdowns passes to senior wideout Joey Walden. Ethan Holmes extended the Chargers’ lead to 14-0 on a 2-yard plunge midway through the second quarter.

The Chargers then used a barrage of Lake Cormorant miscues to put the game away.

The Gators botched snaps on consecutive drives while trying to punt, giving Oxford shorts fields to work with as Phillips ripped off a 16-yard touchdown run before K Cody Mills followed with a 28-yard field goal. Mark Pegues then made a diving interception on an ill-advised pass to set the Oxford offense up again deep in Gator territory, and by the time Abraham found Walden a second time in the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown strike, Oxford had scored 17 points in the last 5:30 of the half to push its lead to 31-0.

The Chargers got a 6-yard touchdown run from Phillips, who had 97 yards on 16 carries, in the second half, and McCollins got in on the action when he broke in front of a pass near midfield and went nearly untouched down the sideline midway through the third quarter for Oxford’s final score.

Oxford’s defense swarmed to the ball for most of the night, keeping Lake Cormorant’s offense out of the end zone until Austion Byrd answered McCollins’ pick six by scampering 64 yards for the Gators’ only offensive touchdown. Lake Cormorant returned the second half’s opening kickoff 97 yards for its first points of the contest.

“They ran that kickoff back, and that gives us something to work on,” said Hill, whose team will host Vicksburg in the first round of the MHSAA Class 5A playoffs next week. “I’d rather it be tonight than next week or the weeks to come, so we’ll get that fixed and go from there.”

In the video below, McCollins talking about his interception, the defense’s play as a whole and how it feels to go unscathed through the regular season.

See Monday’s edition of the EAGLE for more on Oxford’s win. (November 9, 2013)

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