Game Preview: Charleston Tigers (0-0) at Oxford Chargers (0-0)

Quarterback+John+Meagher+and+Tight+End+J.J.+Pegues+look+to+the+sideline+for+the+play+call+in+last+year%27s+Little+Egg+Bowl+against+Starkville.+The+2019+Little+Egg+Bowl+will+take+place+on+Aug.+30+in+Starkville
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Game Preview: Charleston Tigers (0-0) at Oxford Chargers (0-0)

Quarterback John Meagher and Tight End J.J. Pegues look to the sideline for the play call in last year's Little Egg Bowl against Starkville. The 2019 Little Egg Bowl will take place on Aug. 30 in Starkville

Quarterback John Meagher and Tight End J.J. Pegues look to the sideline for the play call in last year's Little Egg Bowl against Starkville. The 2019 Little Egg Bowl will take place on Aug. 30 in Starkville

Grace Logan

Quarterback John Meagher and Tight End J.J. Pegues look to the sideline for the play call in last year's Little Egg Bowl against Starkville. The 2019 Little Egg Bowl will take place on Aug. 30 in Starkville

Grace Logan

Grace Logan

Quarterback John Meagher and Tight End J.J. Pegues look to the sideline for the play call in last year's Little Egg Bowl against Starkville. The 2019 Little Egg Bowl will take place on Aug. 30 in Starkville

Edward Brown, Editor-in-Chief

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The Oxford Chargers will play as host in the first football game of the season as the Charleston Tigers will travel to Oxford for the fall jamboree. The Chargers are coming off of a 9-3 season, in which they made their first 6A playoff appearance. For the Tigers, the 2018 season was also successful, as they went 11-3 and lost in the third round of the 3A playoffs. Oxford is 5-1 against the Tigers all time, with their last meeting being seven years ago.

Players to watch:

Oxford ATH J.J. Pegues: Pegues, a four-star athlete and member of the 2019 Clarion Ledger Dandy Dozen, is an obvious choice for player to watch. The senior captain was hampered by injuries last season, but will look to build off of his 683 total yards and 17 touchdowns. Pegues’ health and level of play will be a major factor in determining how Oxford’s season goes.

Charleston RB Jay Brown: Brown was second on the Tiger’s offense in both rushing yards and touchdowns last year, with 710 and 9 respectively. Brown also shared snaps and carries with then senior Quynn Crawford, who has since graduated, giving Brown more reps to shine in the 2019 season. Look for the Tigers to put the ball in Brown’s hands and let him go to work.

Oxford QB John Meagher: Another obvious player to watch this season will be Meagher, in his second year as a full time starter on the Charger offense. Meagher had stretches of great passing throughout the season last year, but struggled a bit with interceptions. This should be a statement game for Meagher to show his improvement in the passing game.

Charleston DT Alfernee Hankins: On the defensive side of the ball for the Tigers, they were lucky to have not lost a large number of starters to graduation. Hankins, a standout player on the team stat-wise last year, is one of those starters returning for his senior season in the middle of the Tiger defensive line. With 8.5 sacks and 83 total tackles last year, Hankins will be a force to be reckoned with against an untested Charger offensive line.

X Factor:

Oxford’s Offensive Line: The 2018 season was a struggle for the Chargers in the offensive trenches. A multitude of injuries and other circumstances forced many underclassmen into starting roles on the offensive line. Many of those players will once again have to step into those starting positions this season. As deep and talented as Oxford is in almost every other position group, the offensive line is a major question mark for the team. This X factor is more for the entire season, rather than just this jamboree. 

Prediction:

While the Tigers were very successful in 3A last year, they will be no match for a strong 6A Oxford side, predicted to be a dominant team in the class this year. An obvious example of the difference in talent between the two came last season, when both teams faced-off against the Lafayette Commodores. The Chargers were victorious against their crosstown rivals 29-27, whereas the Tigers lost 41-8. While I don’t want to write out the underdogs completely, I’m going to have to go with the Chargers winning this first game of the season big, even with the shortened game length. 27-6, Chargers.