Coverage Recap: Oxford 41| Lafayette 17
There are three particular events that Oxford natives look forward to the most: Double Decker, Groving, and the annual Crosstown Classic between the Oxford Chargers and the Lafayette Commodores. At the end of the night, the University Sporting Goods Crosstown Classic trophy made it’s way three miles to the north side of MS Highway 6. The Chargers used a dominant all around performance to win 41-17 over the Commodores. This rivalry win was Oxford head coach Chris Cutcliffe’s first as head coach.
The atmosphere was electric at William L. Buford stadium, particularly on the home side. The student section was chanting non stop long before the kickoff and their crowd was into it before the game, however, it was the visiting Chargers who came out of the gates rolling. The Commodores couldn't get anything going offensively on their first possession and were forced to punt. It didn't take long for the Chargers to strike first blood. John Reece McClure found his man Damarea Burt for a beautiful 13 yard touchdown strike over the middle. The missed PAT made the score 6-0, Oxford with the lead.
The Chargers were stout up front with several tackles in the backfield, it was hard for Lafayette to get anything going. The Commodores did have hope, once Quinshun Twilley intercepted a tipped McClure pass. Lafayette used a couple powerful runs by Jamarcus Quarles to get inside Oxford territory and salvage a field goal to make the score 6-3 early in the second quarter.
Then Oxford’s offense really came to life. Hiram Wadlington found a hole in the teeth of that Commodore defense and hit it hard for a 42 yard touchdown run pretty much untouched. The score was 13-3 with 7:16 left in the first half. Oxford didn't slow down after that. Burt caught a screen pass and used a good block by his receiver to tightrope the sidelines and get a 19 yard TD reception. The score was 20-3 late in the second half. A 17 point lead would be seen as hard to overcome for most teams. Lafayette did what champions do, they did not quit fighting. Randy Anderson led an impressive drive down the field and finished it with a fade pass to Drew Dabney in the back corner of the end zone to cut Oxford’s lead to 10 with 13 seconds left in the first half. The score was 20-10 going into halftime.
This wasn't the first time that the Chargers have allowed a big play to end the half. It happened on the last play of the half when Oxford traveled to Starkville because of a hail mary pass. Oxford didn't let that get in their heads and just kept moving the ball forwards. It only took two minutes for Oxford to silence the Lafayette crowd to begin the half, thanks to Wadlington’s legs. He punched in his second score of the night on the goal line to put the Chargers up 27-10 with 10:07 left in the third quarter.
On their very next drive, it was Joe O’keefe’s turn to make something happen. McClure found him wide open in the middle of the field and the 39 yard touchdown strike made the score 34-10. The Chargers were starting to pull away for sure. Oxford’s defense still didn't Lafayette get much of anything offensively. Oxford put the final nail in the coffin when backup running back K.J Wadley punched in his first varsity touchdown. Anderson scored a late TD, but it was far too late. The Chargers were victorious.
Oxford will host Pontotoc next week while the Commodores will enter their bye week and prepare for the top ranked team in the state: the West Point Green Wave.
Players of the Game:
Oxford - Hiram Wadlington