(Coaches Dennis Robbins and Barry Wells – The Pontotoc mentors instruct players during time-out at Oxford.)
By TIM TUTOR
OXFORD – Staying in the hunt for the Region 2-4A regular season football championship, the 7-2, 4-1 Oxford Chargers defeated the 0-9, 0-5 Pontotoc Warriors 37-0 Friday night.
The defending district champion Chargers kept the football on the ground most of the night scoring three touchdowns on 200 rushing yards. Ole Miss head coach David Cutcliffe was in attendance and saw his son, Chris, throw for another Oxford score in the second period. An 83-yard pass interception in the last seconds of the second quarter accounted for the other Charger touchdown.
Using four different running backs on their first possession, the Chargers moved from their own 40-yard line in 12 plays to put the first point on the scoreboard. Nick Cooks two-yard run and the PAT made it 7-0 with a little over one minute left in the opening quarter.
Oxford would add a 41-yard field goal by Brent Brownlee and another touchdown, a 22-yard pass from senior quarterback Chris Cutcliffe to sophomore running back J.J. Parker, to make it 17-0 after the extra point.
Form that point, with almost nine minutes left in the second quarter, the young Warriors of Pontotoc High put together their best offensive series of the evening.
From their own 21-yard line, Pontotoc marched the football 44 yards picking up three first downs along the way. Led by sophomore quarterback Nickolas McGregor, PHS moved to the Oxford 35-yard line before being intercepted on a second down and ten.
“That was good,” said Warrior head coach Dennis Robbins.
“We did some things good on offense, moving the ball a little bit. We didn’t get it into the end zone, but we moved the football.”
Oxford, still with Cutcliffe calling the signals, took the ball some 70-yards with sophomore running back Chris Johns scoring from the two. Brownlee’s PAT made it 24-0 with a little over one minute left in the half.
But, the Pontotoc boys would move the ball from their own 32 to the Oxford 35 in three plays only to have Oxford senior defensive back Oran Jewell intercept a McGregor pass and return it the distance to make it 31-0 at the half.
The hard-fighting Warriors kept the Chargers off the scoreboard in the third period.
“We played well in spurts on defense,” said Coach Robbins. “We see young kids that are doing things better every week.”
Oxford added one more touchdown on a 6-yard run by junior running back Jake Gibbs about mid-way through the final period. The point-after-touchdown was missed by senior Pete Binder, but the Chargers won the game 37-0.
The Pontotoc boys play with true Warrior heart and are looking forward to this Friday night’s finale.
“Our kids haven’t quit and we’ve got one more to go.”
It’s senior night down in “The Hollow” Friday night and Coach Robbins is optimistic.
“We’ve got Houston next week at our place, and we sure would like to see these seniors go out with a win.”
Playing their last game as a Pontotoc Warrior are Amil Franklin, Rashad Goree, Jessie Hankins, Mark Rucker, Channing Owen, Jeffery Wilbanks, LeDezerick Coleman, Michael Todd, and Ken Green.