Who's Playing?: Oxford (2-1, #5 CL/AP/MP, #1 in 5A [CL]) vs. Lafayette (1-2, #T8 in 4A [AP])
What?: Crosstown Classic / 44th Overall Meeting
Where?: Bobby Holcomb Field
When?: Friday, September 12th @ 7:00 PM
How can you keep yourself updated?: 95.5 FM Radio, Bullseye955.com, @OxChargerSports Twitter account
The Lowdown: Oxford can make history Friday night, history that neither team has ever done in the Crosstown Classic. This 2015 senior class can become the first to completely shutout the Commodores during their three varsity years at Oxford.
Two years ago - on national TV - Oxford won 19-0 with Hurricane Isaac lurking to the west. Last year, Oxford won 30-0 in the largest margin of victory by either team in the history of the series without the services of DK Metcalf for most of the game as that is the game where he broke his leg last year. Oxford has scored 51 unanswered points dating back to the Safety scored as the last points in the 40-12 shellacking by a Jeremy Liggins-led offense in 2011.
This is also a rare meeting (by anybody) of two defending North Half Champions where Oxford won 5A North Half and Lafayette won 4A North Half in 2013. Lafayette's defense is the biggest reason why they even have a win. Lafayette's offense has scored a grand total of 10 points through 3 games with another 7 coming off of a kickoff return. (Tough sledding for any team named the "Commodores" on offense isn't it?) Last week they beat 6A Desoto Central 3-0. A big reason their offense is at a stand still is that their stud RB has been out hurt and no one else has been able to move the ball. DK Buford leaving and Tyrell Price being out has left this offense searching for answers.
While the Lafayette defense held Jack Abraham to his lowest passing total of his high school career last year (threw for only 121 yards), Kenzie Phillips had a monster game running for 211 yards last year and 3 scores. Lafayette's defense is going to need to be as advertised if have any shot at all at winning their 25th game against Oxford with the offense's inability to move the ball.
Lafayette's offense will have to beat the odds to pull this upset.
For Oxford to Win, They Must: Prove that Oxford Overmatches Lafayette - Oxford by far has more playmakers than the 'Dores. The defenses are closer to being evenly matched but Oxford's offense is on another level with their playmakers on that side of the ball.
Don't Think About Making History - This is still a rivalry game and Lafayette still wants to beat our brains out. The 'Dores will do everything they can to win the game, and that means scoring on offense. The Chargers can't think about making history until they see the chance in the 4th quarter. This is almost the position Lafayette was in during the 2010 season - this feels more of a trap game than anything else and Lafayette will give it their all.
For Lafayette to Win, They Must: Generate Offense - 10 points in 3 games? Something must change. Yes, they played Tupelo who we saw last year is a very impressive defensive team, but 3 to Desoto Central after the Jags gave up 33 to Lewisburg? That is alarming to see. They did gain 325 yards this past week, but that has to generate more than 3 points.
Be On Your A-Game Defensively - The LHS offense has had trouble scoring. This defense needs to give every chance they can get to their offense or even find a way to score themselves without the offense needing to enter the field or score on Special Teams. If the 'Dores plan on winning, they will have to scrap and claw for any points they can muster to help their stalling offense.
Other Notes: Lafayette leads the overall series 24-17-2. Oxford has won the last two games in the series. Oxford has scored the last 51 points in the series and has shutout the Commodores the last 9 quarters. Oxford has never scored more than 35 points against Lafayette. Oxford has scored at least that many points in 9 of their last 12 games.