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Friday, October 31, 2014

Picayune upsets Oxford, 42-35, for 5A championship

BLOG — Oxford’s only loss of the season was a bitter one.

The top-ranked Chargers’ bid for the first state championship in school history came up short Saturday night as Picayune claimed the Class 5A title with a 42-35 win over Oxford at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson.

“It’s been a great season. It’s just sad that you have to lose this last one,” Oxford coach Johnny Hill said. “We’ve played some really good football teams and beat some good folks. We just didn’t have enough force and ran out of gas tonight. It is what it is. You have to tip your hat off to Picayune. They played well.”

RB Kenzie Phillips’ final touchdown run — his third of the game — gave Oxford (14-1) a 35-21 lead heading to the fourth quarter, but the Chargers’ offense went cold the rest of the way. Picayune began its comeback with a 47-yard touchdown pass from QB Boderick Scott to Daveon Greene midway through the final frame. Preston Dedeaux drew Picayune even at 35-all on its next possession with a 4-yard touchdown run with less than three minutes left.

The Maroon Tide defense quickly got the ball back to the offense, forcing a three-and-out, and Kadarius Cross completed Picayune’s rally by breaking a 75-yard touchdown run for the game-winning score with 2:08 remaining. Oxford’s chance to answer and possibly send the game to overtime evaporated with a fumble on its final possession.

Phillips’ third-quarter touchdown capped a 21-0 run for Oxford, but Picayune answered with 21 straight points of its own to end the game.

“We didn’t stop them,” Hill said. “They just kept going wide, and then he’d cut up. First half, he was running inside, and we got that shut down. Then they started going outside. They did a good job, and they made some big plays on us.”

The contest went back and forth throughout with the teams tied at 21 at the half. Oxford QB Jack Abraham, who went 11-for-20 for 138 yards in the first half, threw for two of those touchdowns to Joey Walden and Glenn Gordon while Phillips ran for the other score. Dedeaux, who eclipsed the 100-yard mark as part of a 166-yard first-half rushing effort for Picayune, had a pair of rushing touchdowns in the first two quarters.

  (December 8, 2013)

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