Tuesday, November 28, 2023

OHS, LHS Battle for Bragging Rights at Annual Crosstown Classic

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

The annual Crosstown Classic, like any fierce rivalry, is a family affair. Cousins meet cousins and friends meet friends to battle for bragging rights on the gridiron as the Oxford Chargers travel to William Buford Stadium to take on the Lafayette Commodores. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. this Friday.

Though Oxford and Lafayette are not in the same division, it does not mean that the rivalry is any less passionate. 

“I think the Crosstown Classic is one of the best rivalries in the state of Mississippi,” Oxford Head Coach Chris Cutcliffe said. “It is so unique because of the close proximity of the schools.”

Lafayette Head Coach Michael Fair said the game means so much to so many people who have lived in the area their whole lives.

“Cousins and neighbors are going to play against each other. We all shop and eat at the same places, but come Friday night you are going to have to choose either red or blue,” he said.

The Chargers (2-1) are coming off of a 33-14 victory over Grenada which was a bounce back after a loss to the Starkville Yellow Jackets in the battle for the Little Golden Egg. 

Fair said the Chargers are a “really well-coached team” and “very athletic” because they can move to the ball on the backend when the ball is in the air.

“It is absolutely going to take a great effort to stay in the game with these guys,” Fair said.

“Lafayette’s success this season starts with the offensive and defensive lines. Those are two outstanding units for them who have played extremely well to start the season,” Cutcliffe said.

Lafayette (3-0) opened the 2019 home slate with a 28-14 victory over the Horn Lake Eagles on the gridiron with a strong defensive presence.

The Commodores defense is growing up right in front of the coaches eyes, Fair said.

“Here we are going into week four and it just seems like they are growing up each week and gaining experience,” Fair said.

Fans can also help take part in this season’s classic by participating in the United Way Challenge.