By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Sports Writer
During their final home game of the season, the Oxford Wildcats varsity football team hosted the West Bloomfield Lakers on Oct. 18.
Honoring the parents of all senior players prior to the game, the school also had a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter fly over Wildcat Stadium as part of the Military Appreciation theme of the night.
Unfortunately for Oxford, the results on the field were not nearly as cool as the scene before the game as West Bloomfield ran past the Wildcats, 48-0.
Dropping to 1-7 overall, the Wildcats are now 1-5 in OAA Red play, one game ahead of the Bloomfield Hills Black Hawks for sixth-place in the division.
The top team in the Red at 6-0, West Bloomfield is the No. 5 team in Division I, per the latest Michigan High School Athletic Association rankings.
Taking just 55 seconds, senior quarterback C.J. Harris got the scoring started with a 31-yard touchdown run. Committed to Ohio University in Athens, Harris finished with 194 total yards and was responsible for three scores.
With about four minutes remaining in the first half, junior running back Donovan Edwards ripped off a 50-yard run to extend the Lakers’ lead to 28-0. The No. 3 player in the state of Michigan in the 2021 class according to the 247Sports Composite, Edwards is considered a University of Michigan lean, but is also weighing Michigan State and Ohio State.
Not requiring many touches in this affair, Edwards totaled 114 yards on nine carries (12.7 AVG).
Many backups saw the field for West Bloomfield in the second half, junior quarterback D. Alex Short scored the final touchdown of the night – a three-yard run – with 2:04 remaining in the game.
Struggling to get any rhythm established offensively, the Wildcats generated just 31 yards of total offense in this one. Facing nearly constant pressure, sophomore quarterback Brady Carpenter was intercepted twice and completed just two passes to Oxford receivers.
Senior Matt Pullman led the Wildcats with 27 yards on 13 touches.
“It’s unfortunate it had to end this way on the blue turf for our seniors,” said Head Coach Bud Rowley. “West Bloomfield is a very talented team, one of the best in the state.”
“All we can do is put it behind us and bring our best effort for Oak Park,” Rowley continued. “Our seniors didn’t get the home ending they were looking for, but we still have another opportunity to go out there and compete.”
The final game of the season, Oxford travels to Oak Park on Friday, Oct. 25 for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Having lost just one game and sitting atop the OAA White standings, the Knights will represent another difficult task for the Wildcats.
While the team’s treacherous schedule has led to a rough sight in the win-loss column, playing some of the state’s top talent like this will help prepare Oxford’s underclassmen to compete at a more significant level in 2020