By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
Against relentless rain and all odds, the Oxford High School Wildcats beat the Clarkston Wolves last Friday in the first round of Michigan High School Athletic Association’s playoffs. The game, played in Clarkston, ended with a score of 38-28.
This Friday the Wildcats travel to Rochester Adams for Round 2 of the playoffs.
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After Clarkston took half of the first quarter to score a touchdown, Oxford sent Salvino Vackaro up the field to respond in kind. Two more Oxford touchdowns in the second quarter kept Clarkston behind going into halftime, holding back the Clarkston offense and putting 10 more points on the board in the third quarter. Clarkston had a second wind throughout the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to stop Oxford’s runaway momentum from leaving them in the dust. At the final whistle, Oxford moves to week two of the playoffs with a score of 39-29.
“I thought that was our most complete game yet,” Zach Line, Oxford head coach, said. “After looking at the film there’s still plenty to fix, which is a good thing as a coach. Week to week we’re getting better (but) there’s still things to correct.”
While the whole Oxford team put in a strong performance, running back and linebacker Vackaro had a legendary performance rushing over 300 yards and scoring four of Oxford’s five touchdowns (Jay Cady scored a field goal while Tate Myre caught Oxford’s lone passing touchdown.)
“The O-line up front was creating some nice holes for (Vackaro),” Zach Line, Oxford head coach, said. “Defensively I thought our corners played really well … As a whole our defense stepped up again. Just another week where they took a really big step and they’ll need to take a big step this week.”
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Speaking of this week, Oxford will ramble into Rochester Hills for a rematch against the undefeated (10-0) Rochester Adams Highlanders this Fridday. The Wildcats — obviously — lost their first meeting back on September 3, 24-10.
“Adams is a very well-coached team,” Zach Line, Oxford head coach, said. “The first time around seems like two years ago, back in week two. It will be fun to replay the game, have a little redemption.”
As for his plans for the week, Line is sticking to “the same formula we’ve been doing for the past few weeks.”
Tickets are only available online at https/gofan.co/app/school/MI9877 and the game will be streamed at https://www.nfhsnetwork.com; details on how to tune in can be found on the MHSAA’s website. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
By Dean Vaglia