It may have been a jamboree in the middle of August, but the atmosphere inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Friday night would have made one assume it was December.
In front of a raucous crowd, the Oxford Chargers stormed back from a 10-0 deficit to defeat Class 6A powerhouse South Panola 14-10 at the Ole Miss Jamboree in a matchup featuring two of the state’s top teams.
“This was a big game,” Oxford coach Johnny Hill said. “South Panola is kind of the big boy on the block, and to be honest, I was disappointed with how we started this game. We just didn’t play hard, and we didn’t play with reckless abandon. We picked it up the last seven minutes, but that’s not how you are going to win a ballgame.”
The Chargers’ offense was sluggish at the start, punting its first three drives and having a turnover on downs the fourth drive. Junior quarterback Jack Abraham was under pressure early and often from the Tiger defense, causing the rhythm between him and the receivers to be off.
The defense kept Oxford in the game, holding South Panola to just a field goal after the Tigers were able to drive deep into Charger territory on their first two possessions. The Tigers scored on a 41-yard run early in the second quarter to take the 10-0 lead.
The momentum shifted late in the second quarter when Oxford finally found the end zone on a Kenzie Phillips 2-yard touchdown run to close the deficit to 10-7. After another key stop by the defense, Abraham and the Chargers’ offense marched down the field with two minutes left in the scrimmage and capped the comeback with an 11-yard touchdown reception by junior wide receiver D.K. Metcalf with 1:07 remaining.
See Monday’s edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage from Friday’s game. (August 16, 2014)