Special to the Journal
OXFORD – Some special teams trickery helped Oxford put away Vicksburg.
The Chargers scored 33 points in the second quarter – fueled by successful back-to-back onside kicks – to roll to a 50-7 win against the Gators in the opening round of Class 5A playoffs on Friday.
Oxford entertains Pearl next week.
“The biggest thing is we wanted to get after them quick and stay after them and put them away,” said Oxford coach Johnny Hill. “I think when we took those onside kicks and scored quick, we just took all the air out of their sail.”
The short kicks helped Oxford, the Division 1-5A champs, notch three TDs in the span of just under two minutes.
Kenzie Phillips scored on an 8-yard run with 4 minutes, 29 seconds remaining in the half. After Tias Hilliard recovered the onside kick, Jack Abraham connected with Joey Walden for a 41-yard score with 4:21 left.
Marcel Pegues recovered the next onside boot. Three plays later, Glenn Gordon took a pass from Abraham 37 yards to the end zone with 3:39 remaining to put Oxford (12-0) in front 34-7.
Motor really humming
“We’ve gotten better on the offensive side of the ball each week,” said Abraham, a sophomore. “We’re executing on all cylinders right now, so if we can keep it up we ought to make a big run.”
After a quick three-and-out, Abraham competed a 24-yard pass to Gordon. Holmes ran for 18, then scored on a 13-yard pass from Abraham with 2:37 left for a 40-7 lead at the break.
“That hurt them,” Hill said. “We wanted to take it to them and not let them breathe and I thought our guys did that.”
The lone score for Vicksburg (6-6), the No. 4 team from Division 2-5A, came on a 2-yard keeper by Taveres Johnson in the opening series of the night.
“It was good for my seniors to get to play football this late in the year, because they’ve never had that chance before,” said Vicksburg coach Taveres Johnson, father of the quarterback. “We got behind early and were a little namby-pamby.”