By Adam Brown
The Oxford Chargers use a strong second-half offense performance to pull off a 24-17 victory over the Brandon Bulldogs on Friday night.
Oxford (1-0) scored 10 unanswered points in the third quarter to secure the win.
The Chargers fell behind early to Brandon at 14-0. Late in the first quarter, the Bulldogs forced Oxford to a three and out then took the ball down to score on a 12-yard pass to go up 7-0.
In the second quarter, Oxford muffed a 32-yard field goal attempt to get on the board. Quarterback Michael Harvey fumbled the ball, and the Brandon defense player recovered it for the score — the Bulldogs’ second touchdown.
Oxford’s offense then found its rhythm just before halftime as Harvey found his teammate Jack Harper on a two-yard jump pass for the first touchdown of the season. At the half, Brandon took a seven-point advantage into the break.
The Chargers’ offense didn’t cool down at halftime. Oxford’s defense forced Brandon to go for it on fourth down, and they could not convert. The Chargers took over at their own 22-yard line.
Late in the third quarter, Harvey connected with Dane Harmon on a 40-yard touchdown pass that tied the game at 14-14.
Oxford would then take the lead of the game after a bad snap by the Bulldogs on their first play at the Brandon six-yard line. The Chargers would score on a 21-yard field goal by William Wilkinson.
The Chargers continued to add pressure to Brandon. As the clock expired in the third, Oxford recovered a snap.
Oxford’s other quarterback Tripp Maxwell scored the next touchdown as he found Omar Howell on a fourth and goal situation from two yards out for the final Chargers score.
Brandon would cut into Oxford’s 10-point advantage with a 43-yard field goal with under eight minutes left on the clock.
Oxford had next week’s game canceled as South Panola is going virtual due to COVID. The Chargers’ next game is on Sept. 11 against John Curtis Christian in Louisiana.