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Chargers end regular season with rout of Gators

Jared Redding

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FILE
The Chargers are posed to finish what they started on Aug. 21 when the season kicked off against Southaven High. It’s championship or bust.


OXFORD – It was only fitting that Oxford High’s seniors put on a show last Thursday on senior night.

The Division 1-5A champion Chargers pulled away from Lake Cormorant High to win 56-26 in head coach Johnny Hill’s last regular-season game. Hill’s red-hot Chargers enter this week’s playoffs with an eight-game winning streak.

“We’ve got to take every game as it comes and be focused during them,” Chargers wide receiver Ken Presley said about his team’s preparation during the postseason.

Oxford High’s seniors have been vital to the Chargers’ success the past two seasons. Playing together, they have a mind-boggling combined record of 36-5 during their varsity career. Two of their five losses were on the biggest stage, the state championship, where they fell short both times. This year as seniors, they are ready to lead their team back to the title game and end their outstanding career with a win.

“I’ve definitely had a ton of memories, obviously, and we’re not done making them,” senior quarterback Jack Abraham said. “I know our seniors are ready to lead our team to state.”

A senior-laden offense scored 50 points for the sixth time in division play.

“We knew that we were going to score every time that they (Lake Cormorant) gave us the ball,” Abraham said.

Abraham had another remarkable performance, completing 29 of his 33 passes for 428 yards and five touchdowns.

D.K. Metcalf had a career game with 11 catches, 184 yards and two unbelievable one-handed touchdown catches.

“He’s a freak of nature,” Abraham said of Metcalf. “I’m proud of what he’s done and we are going to keep on making plays.”

Presley finished with five catches, 70 yards, and two touchdown receptions. Zach Cousar had four catches for 54 yards and a touchdown. Jimmy Greaser had five catches for 78 yards.

Hiram Wadlington led the Chargers on the ground with 15 carries for 109 yards and a touchdown. Josh Patton and Martin Guzman also got a touchdown.

After giving up 26 points in the first half, the Charger defense tightened its grip and allowed no more points.

“Our defensive coaches made some really good adjustments,” Hill said. “We got our pass defense in there when we need to, and we had our run defense in there when we needed to. So that really worked out well.”

Tias Hilliard and Jack Turner led the Chargers in tackles with 10. Marcel Pegues, Nick Sisk, Jerry Quiller and Kent Hickinbottom each had a sack.

The Chargers forced three turnovers, all of them interceptions. C.J. Terrell, Hilliard and Turner each had those interceptions.

Extra Points

Turning Point:

Both teams exchanged blows on offense until the Gators began to turn the ball over. After Presley’s second touchdown to make the score 36-26, Gator quarterback Will Guest was intercepted by Hilliard. The Chargers capitalized with a 1-yard score by Wadlington. On the ensuing drive, Guest threw another interception – picked off by Turner four minutes later. The Gators never recovered offensively; they were scoreless the rest of the night.

Playmaker:

Metcalf has made some jaw-dropping plays all throughout his career, and he made two of them in this game. Both of his touchdown catches were one-handed grabs; one of them was considered by MaxPreps to be one of the best one-handed catches of the year.

Talking Point:

“No team can stop us,” Greaser said.

Notes:

The Chargers have now won 22 straight division games, including a perfect 21-0 mark for the senior class
Future Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson was in attendance.

Next week, the Chargers host the fourth-seeded Vicksburg High Gators in the first round of the MHSAA Class 5A playoffs.

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Chargers end regular season with rout of Gators