Key: MP = Maxpreps, USAT = USA Today, MPB = Mississippi Public Broadcast, AP = Associated Press, CL = Clarion-Ledger, NR = Not Ranked / For ranking use in the article, AP will be used first, if not ranked in AP (uses only Top 10) then CL (only Top 10), then MPB, then USA Today, then Maxpreps
Who's Playing?: Oxford (3-0, #17 MPB, #9 MP, USAT (in MS), #3 in 5A (AP)) @ Senatobia (2-1, NR)
Where?: Senatobia High School Football Field @ Senatobia, MS (Directions? Click HERE)
When?: Friday, September 7th @ 7:30 PM Kickoff
How can you keep up?: 95.5FM Radio, Bullseye955.com Website (Listen LIVE), OxChargerSports Twitter Account (LINK - follow me), Oxford Score Updates Page on this website using the hashtag #themhills (LINK), Channel 97 on Monday @ 6 PM.
The lowdown: No. 17-ranked Oxford comes into this game with a 3-game winning streak - their first such streak since reeling off 5 in a row in 2010 before losing to West Point to end the season. The Chargers are coming off of beating their Crosstown Rival the Lafayette Commodores 19-0 in dominating fashion that was shown on National TV, breaking numerous streaks and statistical items.
For a high school team to be coming off a game that big, this will be a dangerous situation coming into their next game. The Senatobia Warriors hope to knock Oxford back down to earth in the Chargers' first road game of the year. The Warriors are also coming off a dominating win - though not one noticed by the entire Southeast - a 47-0 thrashing to County-rival Independence last week. Their offense is clicking on all cylinders after last week and their defense is also coming off of posting a shutout.
Out of all the games in Oxford's schedule, this should be their easiest opponent. The Chargers just CANNOT get into that mindset that this will be a cakewalk just because they won their 3 clearly harder games. Also, unlike the other 3 games Oxford has had so far, this one is on the road.
For Oxford to win they must: Look at what's in front of you - do not stay on last week's win, there is still 8 more games in the regular season to go including all 7 division games. If Oxford stays high on their big victory from last week, Senatobia will shock them. The Warriors have always been known to play Oxford tough.
Take advantage of opportunities and mistakes - As dominating as that game was last week, Oxford really should have scored more than 19 points. Oxford missed 3 FG's (out of 5 chances and missed a PAT to boot), had a turnover on downs and fumbled the ball at the Lafayette 1 after getting a rare Lafayette turnover at their 4-yard-line. Oxford found themselves inside the Lafayette 10 at least a half-dozen separate times and came away with just one offensive touchdown. That MUST change. The Chargers left lots of points on the field last week; a minimum of 20 points more should have been scored that would have put that game away much earlier than it did.
Defensively, wear them down - Senatobia just has 35 players on their roster according to Maxpreps, that means a lot of players are playing both ways (playing both offensively and defensively). If this game remains in striking distance going into the 4th, Oxford should have the edge in that department.
For Senatobia to win they must: Play flawless - they know they are out-manned and have more players that are going to play the entire game, thus they are likely to have more fatigue set in on their sideline when the second half comes. The Warriors cannot make mistakes because Oxford is certainly a talented team to run them out of the building - everyone saw that last week.
"Bend, but don't break" - The Warrior defense cannot let Oxford into the end zone if they expect to stay in this game and have a chance to win it at the end. To completely stop Oxford would be a tall task, they need to have Oxford drive in small chunks and have a few balls go their way.
Find a way to move the chains - Senatobia is in the same region as Lafayette and must play them later on in the year. If they can move the ball against the Oxford defense - something Lafayette was largely unable to do last week - they can instill some confidence going into their region schedule knowing they were able to do something Lafayette did not. This game does not count but for the overall record which means squat in high school - between HS, College and the NFL, only High School is where the actual overall record means nothing - the division record is what matters. Even if Senatobia loses this game, if they can move the chains, that will be a victory in their books moving forward.
Weather: At 7:30 PM (Kickoff): 88*F (Heat Index: 94*F), Clear, No chance of Rain. Throughout the course of the game, chances of rain will increase to 30% with Isolated Thunderstorms. Temps will drop toward the upper 70s by the end of the game. Winds will come from the South at 7-12 MPH. (Weather is for Senatobia, MS location - as that is where the game is played) Bring warm weather gear and it might be a good idea to bring rain gear just in case.
Other Notes: Oxford won last year's meeting 40-20. Parker Adamson went 13-for-20, 197 Yards, TD, INT in last year's game while Mont Dean rushed 21 times for 167 Yards and 5 TDs. Senatobia's last win against Oxford was in 2009 (29-20). Oxford can go 4-0 for the first time since 2006 with a win. It was in Senatobia, MS during Basketball Season last year where the team buses were shot at by unknown suspects late after the boys game ended. Want directions to the field? Click (HERE).
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