By Dan Shriner
ROCHESTER HILLS – Coach Bud Rowley knows there are no shortcuts when it comes to playing Oxford-style football.
The Wildcats met undefeated Rochester Adams on Friday night and gave the Highlanders all they could handle in the first half before falling 33-13 in an OAA Red Division battle.
The halftime score was 12-7 in favor of Adams, but Oxford led midway through the second quarter, 7-6.
“We played well in the first half, but they beat us up pretty good in the second half,” Rowley said. “There is no magic potion to this. We have to come to practice, work hard and get better and better each week.”
The loss dropped the Wildcats to 1-2. They play at Southfield High School at 5:30 p.m. on Friday against Southfield A&T.
The Highlanders opened the scoring midway through the first half, but missed the extra point. Oxford quarterback Parker Fleming fired a 21-yard TD pass to Ben Nuss at 6:22 of the second quarter. Matthew Mielnicki kicked the conversion for a 7-6 lead.
Adams came back with a score just before half time to take the 12-7 lead.
The Highlander defense shut down the Wildcat’s running game in the second half.
Adams got two touchdowns in the third quarter, one coming on a seven-yard run and the other on a 33-yard pass to give Adams a 26-7 lead.
Highlander quarterback Zach Soldan threw three touchdowns for 98 yards and ran for 101 yards and a TD.
The Wildcats made a final effort to close the gap late in the third quarter. Tailback Drew Carpenter had a two-yard run. The Cat’s failed on a two-point conversion to make it 26-13. Carpenter’s run was set up by a 44-yard reception by Nuss.
Adams’ defense stymied the Wildcats in the fourth quarter. A five-yard TD run late in the final quarter by the Highlanders put the game away, 33-13.
Fleming finished with 79 yards passing. Carpenter rushed for 45 yards on 18 carries. Nuss had two catches for 66 yards and the TD.
Wildcat defensive back Sergio Borg and linebacker Sammy Barrott each recorded 15 tackles to lead the Cats’ defense.
Oxford finished with 212 yards of offense, which included 133 yards rushing and 11 first downs. Carpenter had 45 yards on 18 carries. Nuss had 66 receiving yards on two catches.
Adams amassed 366 yards of offense.