FLOWOOD — It was a game that at times was not pretty and saw a little bit of everything, including both benches being flagged for penalties, but the Oxford Chargers fought through it to beat the Jackson Prep Patriots 26-21 Friday night. It was the second straight year Oxford beat Jackson Prep to begin its season.
“(Jackson Prep) has a really good football team,” Oxford coach Johnny Hill said. “Coach Black kind of pulled one on us, and we had to make some adjustments. I thought we did pretty good with that. I think this heat took a toll on both teams. We made a lot of mistakes, but I’m glad we won.”
The night started off well for the Chargers, whose defense forced a Patriot fumble on the fourth play of the game. Junior quarterback Jack Abraham and the Oxford offense managed to capitalize with a 23-yard field goal to end the drive and take a 3-0 lead.
Oxford never trailed in the game and built a lead as large as 19 points late in the third quarter. But a sluggish second half by Oxford allowed the Patriots to climb back into the game. A 3-yard quarterback keeper by Prep’s Gene Wood closed the deficit to five points.
The Charger defense was put to the test covering Wood and the Patriot offense as they ran a very unconventional style. Overall Oxford did a good job of stifling the Patriots minus a few big plays here and there.
Abraham finished the night completing 27 of 37 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns. The biggest score of the night came on a 34-yard strike to wideout D.K. Metcalf, who kept his focus on the ball after it had been tipped by a Prep defender and hauled it in for the score. It gave Oxford a 26-7 lead and would be the difference in victory or defeat.
The Chargers’ ground game was led by Kenzie Phillips, who rushed for 116 yards on 21 carries. Tight end Zach Cousar led all receivers with five catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. Metcalf had 10 receptions for 67 yards.
Oxford will play its first home game next Friday with its newly installed turf as the Chargers host the Starkville Yellowjackets.
See Monday’s edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage from Friday’s game.
(August 23, 2014)