BY BRANDON SPECK
OXFORD – As if Oxford wasn’t already scary enough, the Chargers took down South Panola to kick off the 2014 season.
With 1:03 left in a scrimmage at Ole Miss, junior receiver and Ole Miss commit D.K. Metcalf caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jack Abraham in a 14-10 win against the 6A giant.
Oxford scored its first touchdown on a short run by Kenzie Phillips.
Both scores came late, after a first quarter that wasn’t near scary enough for Oxford coach Johnny Hill.
“To be honest with you, I’m kind of upset on how we started this game,” Hill said. “We just didn’t play hard. We didn’t play aggressive. We didn’t play with reckless abandon.”
After a controversial targeting call on South Panola’s next possession, Oxford defensive end Marcel Pegues sacked Tigers quarterback Tyler Pogue twice late in the scrimmage to foil any comeback hopes.
New Albany 14, Kossuth 12
New Albany held on despite Kossuth lineman Blake Arnold’s 72-yard fumble return to the end zone as time expired. The Bulldogs stopped a two-point conversion.
“Every play’s a big play,” Kossuth coach Brian Kelly said. “I thought we struggled a little bit in the first quarter defensively getting accustomed to the game and playing on this field.”
Braudrique Boyd caught three passes for 38 yards and a touchdown for New Albany, including the game’s first score from Bryce Collins.
“It’s the same thing we struggled with last year, finishing ballgames, finishing drives,” New Albany coach Ron Price said. “Some great things, our defense had a great goal line stand.”
North Panola 30, Booneville 0
Booneville coach Mike Mattox let his team know there wasn’t much to smile about.
“We had a lot of new faces and some of them thought they were coming to a picnic,” Mattox said.
Panola scored early and often and bright spots were few, outside of Tyrece Bell’s second-quarter interception.
“It let us see real quick what we needed to work on,” Mattox said. “The only pleasant thing was our kicking.”
Clinton transfer Austin Holloway had plenty of chances to punt and made a field goal in the junior varsity quarter.