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Green Wave blank Chargers in playoffs

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Junior wide receiver Preston Perkins reacts to defeat. The Chargers fell 41-0 to West Point.

Junior wide receiver Preston Perkins reacts to defeat. The Chargers fell 41-0 to West Point.

Desmen Ison

Desmen Ison

Junior wide receiver Preston Perkins reacts to defeat. The Chargers fell 41-0 to West Point.

Jared Redding, Sports Editor

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OXFORD — The saying: “When it rains, it pours” was validated at Bobby Holcomb Field, metaphorically, and literally. A storm that swept across the state of Mississippi pushed back the kickoff time for one hour. The storm didn’t dampen West Point’s determination to play at least  another week.

The West Point Green Wave dominated the Oxford Chargers offensively and defensively on their way to a 41-0 second round playoff win, ending Oxford’s season. The rainy weather was unlike anything that the Chargers have seen this season.

“A lot of times with this kind of thing, it is hard to play from behind in this type of weather,” head coach Chris Cutcliffe said. “We dug ourselves in a big hole early and it made it really tough for us.”

It was an historic night for the Chargers offensively, failing to score a single point for the first time since 2003. The Chargers also turned the ball over on downs five times, four times in the second half. The Chargers did, however, move the ball a little bit better than the September regular season meeting between these two teams.

“We moved the ball a lot better this time around than we did the first time even though we didn’t show any points on the scoreboard,” Cutcliffe said about his offense. “You got to give them [West Point] a lot of credit.”

John Reece McClure completed 10 of 22 passes for 37 yards through the air. His receiver, J.J. Pegues had a team high 19 yards receiving on two catches. Hiram Wadlington had four catches for 17 yards.

On the ground, Lance Stewart had 19 carries for 110 yards, Wadlington carried the ball 14 times for 65 yards.

The Chargers defensively were run over by the dynamic duo of West Point’s Marcus Murphy and Chris Calvert, who both combined for 295 yards and five touchdowns. West Point did not attempt any passes on the night. A fast Green Wave start offensively made a difference.

“We gave up big plays early and got behind quick,” Cutcliffe said.

Jaquanzi Johnson led the Chargers in tackles with 12. Jamar James finished with six tackles.

Extra Points

Turning Point:

The game was controlled by West Point from start to finish, but there was one time in the game where it seemed like Oxford would get points on the board and get back in it. The Chargers were down 21-0 after a errant handoff resulted in West Point’s C.J. Melton taking the loose ball and racing 53 yards the other way for a touchdown. The Chargers were determined to stop the bleeding on their next offensive possession. Big runs by Wadlington and Stewart carried the Chargers all the way to West Point’s 10 yard line. The Chargers would stall in the red zone and they decided to go for a touchdown on 4th down. McClure couldn’t connect with Pegues on a slant route across the middle, and Oxford turned the ball over on downs with about five minutes to go until halftime. Calvert scored his second touchdown of the game from 22 yards out a little bit later to give West Point a 27-0 lead under two minutes left in the half.

Playmaker:

There were very few positives for Oxford offensively in this game. Stewart was able to crack the 100 yard rushing mark by getting 110 on the night, Stewart averaged six yards a carry against a suffocating Green Wave defense.

Talking Point:

“I think our guys are proud of what they’ve done this season, obviously didn’t end the way we wanted it to and I know they are disappointed tonight,” Cutcliffe said. “I think when they look back on it, they will have a lot to be proud of.”

Notes:

– West Point ran a total of 17 offensive plays in the first half

– This is the largest margin of defeat for the Chargers since getting beat 53-2 by Clarksdale in 2004

– The Chargers finish the season at 8-5 overall (5-2 in Region 1-5A)

Contact Jared Redding at [email protected] or (662) 816-5733 or follow him on Twitter: @TheJaredRedding

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Green Wave blank Chargers in playoffs