#11 - Oxford @ Clarksdale - Football 2005
"Getting Over the Hump"
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This is back in the day Clarksdale was really good in Football. They were routinely going to the playoffs and reaching North Half and the State Championship game. It was nearly impossible to win in Clarksdale. Only South Panola would have the nerve to come in and get a win.
Oxford was blasted back home from Clarksdale in 2004 having lost 53-2 - biggest blowout Oxford has experienced in recent memory. Oxford also had an unheard of 10 turnovers in the defeat.
2005 was a completely different story. Oxford was sporting an 8-0 record, but one could easily say the hardest two games of the regular season schedule was coming up in Clarksdale and Lafayette a week later.
Oxford certainly showed why it had an 8-0 record early, scoring first to lead 7-0. It was a defensive juggernaut in the first half with Oxford clinging to a 10-7 lead into halftime. Both teams managed to score in the 3rd quarter to make the score 17-14 going to the 4th.
Around 5:30 left in the 4th, Clarksdale received the ball around its own 25 yard line, clearly enough time to still execute its offensive game plan and score a game winning drive and leave very little time on the clock for Oxford to mount a comeback.
That went out the window on the first play. The Clarksdale Running Back fumbled the handoff from the Quarterback and Oxford jumped on it. Clarksdale could not keep Oxford out of the end zone and it made the score 24-14 - a two possession game with 4:00 left.
Oxford did a lofty sideways kick - a hybrid Kickoff onside kick - and Anderson raced to the ball and managed to get to it before falling out of bounds. Oxford proceeded to score (but missed the PAT) to make it 30-14.
Clarksdale did manage to score but for whatever reason they had decided to go for 1 and not 2 to make the score 30-21. If Clarksdale went for 2 and made it, it would make the score 30-22, an 8-point game and within one possession of tying the game with a Touchdown and a 2-point conversion. Going for 1 made it 30-21, a two-possession game. A team can only get as many as 8 points per possession.
It became a moot point anyways; Oxford was able to recover the Clarksdale onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, icing the game with a couple knees to win it 30-21. Oxford went on to beat Lafayette 28-25 - the last time Oxford defeated Lafayette in football - and went undefeated in the regular season at 10-0 for the only time thus far in school history.
Oxford like it had all season brought a big crowd to this game in its quest to its best season record-wise in school history. Plenty of students came as well to see them play despite the dangers Clarksdale has been known to have in the past. Oxford finally getting over the Clarksdale hump is the reason this is at #11 in the Top 20 countdown.