By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
The Oxford Varsity Wildcats triumphed 29-28 over the Chippewa Valley Big Reds last Friday, securing Oxford’s place in the MHSAA District 1 playoffs.
“I think (the win) proved how much fight this team has,” Zach Line, Oxford head coach, said. “Sometimes it can be eerie when you go up and then the team starts battling back, but that’s football. It’s a game of ebb and flow and good teams find a way to finish. I was proud of the guys; they’re taking the next step.”
Line had high praise for the defense, who played “awesome as a whole.”
“If you look at the stats for Chippewa Valley they’re a powerhouse offense,” Line said. “We did a good job of limiting them on their opportunities. Big shout out to the defense — it takes a whole group to stop that offense.”
Friday’s win over the Big Reds marks the end of Oxford’s regular season. Since their first game on Aug. 27, the Wildcats put together a winning record in both OAA Red (3-2) and interleague play (5-4).
“My agent told me at the beginning of my (NFL) career … ‘It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish’,” Line said. “That’s always (been) what I’ve looked at. How do I keep growing this team week-in-week-out and as a staff that’s how we’ve looked at things. These guys have bought in and coaching is easy when you have a good group of kids. I’m proud of them for winning four games in a row and it shows us what they’ve done.”
With the regular season over, Oxford is getting ready for a rematch against regular season rival Clarkston. Oxford lost to the Wolves 20-17 in their Sept. 24 home game, giving Clarkston one of its closest games of the season. Since then Oxford has been on an undefeated streak while Clarkston fell to West Bloomfield the week after.
“Clarkston is a good team,” Line, said. “They play well as a group. It shows over the years as they’ve been the team around here. We’re excited to play them.”
Longtime Clarkston head coach Kurt Richardson returned the praise to the Wildcats. “Oxford is going to be tough,” he said, adding the Wildcats have improved a lot on both sides of the ball since the Wolves defeated them earlier in the season. The Oxford Wildcats ride into Clarkston this Friday, Oct. 29. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. and tickets can be bought at the door or at:
By Dean Vaglia