Coverage Breakdown: Oxford @ Grenada
Players to Watch
Hiram Wadlington- One of the state’s most underrated stars and a clutch playmaker. Wadlington has carried the ball 197 times for 1,022 yards and has scored 10 touchdowns on the year. Wadlington is looking to get back on track after rushing for only 26 yards and two yards a carry.
John Reece McClure- The first year starting quarterback has had a good 2016 campaign, going 150-265 for 2,191 yards and 20 passing touchdowns on the year. McClure will have to play a great playing against what may be the best defense that the Chargers will have played all season.
Jaquan Webb- Webb is “The Charger Flash” according to SES Mississippi’s Webb Lewis because of his blazing speed at receiver. Webb runs a time of 10.62 in the 100m dash on the school’s track team. Webb has only caught 15 passes for 293 yards because of a turf toe injury that sidelined him for five weeks. Webb has six touchdown catches on the year and is 100% now coming off the injury. He has caught four touchdown passes in the last three games.
Quentin Wilfawn- He was recently tabbed by SES Mississippi as the 5A Player of the Year, rightfully so according to his mind blowing statistics. Wilfawn broke the school’s tackle record in a season last week against Lake Cormorant, a record that was held by Will Britt for 13 seasons. He leads the state in tackles with 160 tackles, while also getting 13 TFLs, seven forced fumbles, two interceptions, and one defensive touchdown.
D.Q. Thomas- He is the unquestioned leader of not only the Chargers’ defense, but the entire team as a whole. Thomas has been a monster in region play, getting 62 tackles, five interceptions, and three defensive touchdowns all in region play.
C.J. Avery- The do-it-all athlete has been a force to be reckoned with this season, primarily because of the role he plays as a hard hitting safely. The SES Elite on offense has thrown the ball for 540 yards (leads team), and run the ball for 392 yards (2nd on the team). On defense, Avery has 61 tackles and five TFLs.
Deon House- This guy is the work horse on offense for Grenada at running back. House has carried the ball 183 times for 1,222 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has been hot the last three games with 427 rushing yards, he will need to continue to stay hot if he wants to run through Oxford’s stout defense.
Javaris Russell- The stud linebacker leads the team in tackles with 122 on the year while getting 14 TFLs and five sacks. Russell had a dominant 13 tackle performance last week against Neshoba Central.
Jhamauri Johnson- Johnson is another impressive defensive player on this defensively stacked Grenada defense and is second on this team is second on the team with 98 tackles and has seven TFLs, four sacks, and an interception.
Christian Cain- He is Grenada’s ball hawk at defensive back with five interceptions this season. Cain also has 20 tackles on his résumé. He, along with this talented Grenada defense need to create turnovers in this game if they want to season to stay alive another week.
Keys to the Game
Can Oxford take care of the football? Turnovers have broken Oxford’s back at times this year, especially in big time match ups. In last week’s coverage breakdown of the Oxford and Lake Cormorant, it mentioned Oxford’s turnover struggles against Southaven and West Point and how it hurt Oxford badly. It particularly hurt Oxford in that West Point game and how two late game turnovers contributed greatly to the Oxford loss when Oxford was leading West Point 8-7 midway through the third quarter. Last week against Lake Cormorant, a scoop and score for the Gators pretty much drained Oxford offensively for the rest of the night and Oxford lost that game 31-20. Oxford cannot turn the ball over in this big time playoff game, they are going against a Grenada defense that is good at creating turnovers. Also, turnovers are huge sources of momentum, and if Oxford turns the ball over, it gives Grenada momentum in a home field environment where Grenada is undefeated this season and can give Oxford fits.
Can Oxford stop the run on defense and establish a run game of their own offensively? Grenada has pretty much been one dimensional all season long with House and Avery carrying the ball on the ground. If Oxford can stop the run defensively, Grenada will have to pass in Oxford’s “no fly zone”, Oxford should like their chances if Grenada is forced to pass. Also, it is also important that Oxford runs the ball significantly better that their poor 43 yard team rushing performance last week against Lake Cormorant. This is once again a great Grenada defense, McClure cannot do it all by himself in the passing game, he needs some help from Wadlington and Oxford’s offensive line in the run game.
Can Grenada establish a passing game if the run fails? As mentioned before, Grenada is not known for their passing game, thats for sure. Oxford has been pretty impressive for most of the year stopping the run with the exception of Lafayette’s Jamarcus Quarles’ big 200+ yard rushing performance against Oxford earlier in the year. If Oxford’s D stuffs House, theres only one direction you can go, to the passing game. Grenada will have to find away to get their playmakers out in space if everything goes wrong on the ground.
Can Grenada get to McClure? McClure is a quarterback that can make teams pay if no one on their team can get after him in the passing game. Any time that a defense is looking to disrupt a good and balanced offense, they most of the time have to get to the source, the head of the snake who, in this case, is McClure. In Oxford’s two region losses, McClure took a beating, getting sacked left and right, over and over again. If Grenada sacks McClure a lot, Oxford’s offense is in a bit of a pickle in the passing game.
Both team’s offensive line units- This game should probably be a defensive slugfest, both teams are extremely good on defense. One team has to score more points than the other to win right? In order to score points, you have to block on the offensive line and also on the perimeter. And an offense is only as good as the line blocking for them. At the end of the night, the winner will be the team who makes more holes for the running backs and protects their quarterback better. It will be a tough task for both offenses because of the other defense, but the game will rest in the big men’s hands.