Coverage Breakdown: Oxford @ Horn Lake
Players to Watch:
Hiram Wadlington - The senior team captain should be healthy enough to make a huge impact for the Chargers at running back. He is coming off a meniscus injury he suffered against Pontotoc. Wadlington has 90 carries for 654 yards and five touchdowns through six games.
John Reece McClure - The junior signal caller has a cannon for an arm. McClure has taken the majority of the snaps behind center after a two QB system was used earlier this season. McClure has completed 63% of his passes for nearly 900 yards and has thrown nine touchdowns this season.
J.J Pegues - He has proven to be a weapon everywhere on the offensive side of the ball, mainly at tight end. The sophomore standout has caught 22 passes for 341 yards and two scores this year.
Quentin Wilfawn - The 2017 Elite 10 member has the potential to break his own school tackle record set last year. He currently ranks sixth in the state in total tackles with 109. He also has 13 TFLs and four sacks.
Jaquanzi Johnson - A three year veteran in that stout Charger secondary. Johnson places second on his team with 75 tackles and has also been a ballhawk as of late with two picks in the last three games.
Tyler Grim - He has proven to be one of the most explosive playmakers in 6A Region 1 this season. Grim leads the region in rushing yards with 939 yards and averages a mind-boggling nine yards a carry.
Raydarious Jones - The junior quarterback can hurt you with his arm and his legs. Jones has thrown for 455 yards and rushed for 571 more to go along with nine total scores. He runs the read option offense really well.
Kee Boykins - Horn Lake runs the ball more then they throw, but when they do throw the ball, Boykins is the playmaker to go to. He has 231 yards receiving on the season. He took over at quarterback last week as well, throwing for 66 yards and a touchdown pass.
Kobe Dean - The 2019 Under Armour All-American is the heart and soul of this Horn Lake defense that only allows 12 points a game this season. Dean leads the team with 88 tackles and has five sacks.
Omar Pew - He is the anchor of the Eagle defensive line. He may be 5’9, but he has a big 230 pound body and a low center of gravity to work with to give offensive lineman fits. He has nine sacks on the year.
Keys to the Game:
Can Oxford play a clean game and avoid penalties? This has been the story all year long for Oxford offensively. The Chargers have had many touchdowns and big plays wiped away with penalties, especially in region play. Take away all those penalties, and Oxford could have a winning region record and be in a completely different position from where they are right now. To beat the perfect team, one must play nearly perfect. Oxford had a shot at the upset if they can avoid costly penalties.
Can Horn Lake control the line of scrimmage? Horn Lake averages 322 rushing yards a game, that is not a typo. The Eagles have made holes on the offensive line that one can drive a car through. They have absolutely dominated teams up front, but they are up against one of the best front sevens in 6A. Quentin Wilfawn, Jamar James, Jay Frierson, and Ron Person have given teams headaches on the line of scrimmage by blitzing. If Horn Lake can keep Oxford in check and execute their blocks, then Horn Lake will remain perfect on the season.
Which team will come out of the gate swinging? Both Oxford and Horn Lake have tested their opponents and made their presence felt early in ball games this season. Now both of those teams collide. It will be important for one team to hit the other in the mouth early and make them fall down. The team to do that first will more than likely come away with the W.
Injuries - This certainly has bitten Oxford this season. The Chargers were without Hiram Wadlington against Southaven and South Panola due to a meniscus injury. Look at the offensive numbers with and without Wadlington, there is a huge difference. Horn Lake has had things not go their way with that either despite their perfect record. This will not only play a factor in this game, but in weeks to come. Both teams have undefeated Tupelo ahead of them, both teams need to stay healthy to knock off the region leaders as well.