GoW: Through The Air
The Little Egg Bowl has been dominated through the air over the past few seasons. In fact, they have totaled 1,187 passing yards combined the past two times they have squared off. This year could be a different story.
Starkville rolled out three different quarterbacks in their week one win over Noxubee County. The trio combined for just five completions on ten attempts for 61 yards and one touchdown.
Although a senior got the nod early, it was sophomore Malik Brown that showed glimpses of fireworks. Brown was 3-of-5 passing for 37 yards and a score, but he also showed signs of being a true duel-threat quarterback by rushing 17 times for 44 yards.
None of the numbers are very impressive except for the zero turnovers and the fact that the Yellowjackets came away with a win versus a team that spoiled their season opener in 2015.
If things do go south for Brown, expect to see senior Jaquez Akins or junior Ben Owens get a shot. Akins saw a lot of snaps in week one but failed to get much going. Owens did not see hardly any action but is probably the best passer of the bunch.
For the Chargers it will be JR McClure.
The position is his and his alone. He got his first start and his first significant playing time in week one on the road versus Southaven. McClure was 15-of-26 for 229 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions, two of which were returned for scores.
McClure had shaky moments in the contest but even after throwing three interceptions and seeing his team fall into a deep hole, he kept coming back and running the offense. Eventually his resiliency rubbed off on his teammates and the Chargers recovered from a 20-7 hole and claimed a big win.
Oxford is going to put the ball in the air. It is what they do. However, with a solid defense and one of the state’s top rushers, don’t be surprised if they try to grind things out rather than going deep.
It should be worth noting that the last time the Chargers turned their offense over to a sophomore signal caller it was to the 2015 SES Mr. Elite Award winner Jack Abraham.
**Photos by Thomas Brown & Oxford High Sports Productions.