STARKVILLE – After a slow start, Oxford’s Jack Abraham found a rhythm and played a game of throw and catch in the initial Little Egg Bowl.
The Chargers’ sophomore quarterback tossed a trio of second-half touchdowns to lead Oxford to a 35-24 victory over Starkville and moved to 2-0 on the season.
Abraham finished the night with a 23-of-34 showing for 299 yards and four touchdown passes. Trailing 24-21 early in the third quarter, Oxford rallied behind Abraham’s arm to score 21 unanswered points in the second half to pull away.
“We were just getting our tempo going,” said Abraham. “We didn’t execute in the first half but executed a lot in the second half. We have some playmakers and I just had to throw them the ball.”
And naturally, Oxford head coach Johnny Hill was pleased with the offense’s resurgence in the final 24 minutes of play.
“(Abraham) is a good ball player and the line blocked hard and we ran the ball hard,” said Hill. “And the kids never gave up. That was the biggest thing and that is what I am proud of.”
There were offensive fireworks for both teams in the opening quarter moreso for the Jackets, who jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead.
Following a missed field goal on its opening possession, Darius Grayer’s five-yard scoring run got the Jackets on the board. Two plays later, Marlo Rogers of Starkville returned an interception 22 yards as the Jackets stormed out to a two-touchdown advantage.
Oxford moved the ball as well in the first quarter and scored via Jack Abraham’s 11-yard scoring toss to Kyree White. But it would be turnovers that dominated the second quarter, and another Starkville interception led to a 21-yard field goal.
The Jackets (1-1) also fumbled twice inside the Oxford 20-yard line in the second quarter, something that was definitely on Starkville head coach Jamie Mitchell’s mind at the half. Then the miscues carried over to the second half.
“I will say two things,” said Mitchell. “They absolutely deserved to win the ball game and we didn’t. When you make as many mistakes as we made, we just don’t deserve the game. We made enough mistakes tonight to last a season and they threw the ball all over our head. We have to get better in the secondary.”