By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
The Oxford High School Wildcats secured a last-second win over the Stoney Creek Cougars on Friday, Oct. 8.
Stoney Creek scored in the first quarter with Brady Carpenter evening things on the next drive. Stoney came back to score early into the second and followed up with another early in the third, making the game 20-7.
Sal Vackaro completed the pass from Carpenter on Oxford’s first drive of the third quarter, though Jay Cady’s kick was blocked to set the score 20-13. Carpenter and John Asciutto put in another touchdown about eight minutes into the fourth quarter, and Cady’s kick evened the score at 20-all. Keeping the Cougars at bay until overtime, Vackaro rushed in Oxford’s first play of overtime and the score is 27-20 once Cady’s PAT cleared the posts. Stoney rushed in their own touchdown, but the Oxford defense stopped the two-point attempt to end the game at a close, 27-26.
“I thought our team did a great job battling back,” Oxford Head Coach Zach Line said. “So far our season we’ve had a blowout win, a hold-on-to-our-victory (win) … and a come-from-behind win. Those are the types of experiences you have to have as a team. You can preach ‘never give up, persevere, relentless’ all day long, but until they feel that and they see the results of not giving up there’s not as much buy in. Now they know as a team that they can overcome, conquer or finish football games at this level.”
With their win over the Cougars, Oxford finishes their OAA Red season in the black with three wins and two losses to their record. This puts the Wildcats at third in the league behind 4-1 Clarkston and the undefeated West Bloomfield.
“You look back and you wish you could’ve stolen either the West Bloomfield or Clarkston game, but I think we’ve proven that we’re a contender in this conference,” Line said. “We’re not going anywhere. Let’s keep building and all we’re focused on is Rochester.”
The OAA Red season is over, but Oxford has two more games left overall. This week the Wildcats host the Rochester Falcons from the OAA White league. Recently beating Oak Park 23-22, the Falcons lost their only game against an OAA Red team — crosstown rivals Stoney Creek — 14-7.
“(Rochester) will be a good matchup for us and a chance for us to get a win at home this year,” Line said. “We’ve been a good road team this year, but it’s time for us to win one in front of the home crowd.”
Friday’s game starts at 7 p.m. with tickets on sale at the door. According to the Oxford Wildcats Booster club, this week’s game will be a “pink out.”
By Dean Vaglia