By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Sports Writer
The Oxford Wildcats football team fell to 0-2 with a 31-7 loss to Rochester Adams on Friday, September 6.
Thanks to two touchdowns apiece from sophomore Griffin Henke and senior Anthony Patritto, the Highlanders built a 28-7 halftime lead and never looked back.
Henke got the scoring started with a 23-yard touchdown run with 1:48 left in the first quarter. Forcing and recovering a fumble deep in Highlander territory, Oxford tied the game on an eight-yard touchdown run by senior Matt Pullman two minutes into the second quarter.
After Pullman’s score, it was all Adams. Senior quarterback Carter Farris found Patritto for a 46-yard strike to put Adams back on top, 14-7. Henke added his second touchdown of the game, an 11-yard run, with 4:30 left in the first half. Averaging 7.2 yards per carry, Henke totaled 79 yards on 11 rushes.
Executing a beautiful double move, Patritto found the end zone for the second time with 1:25 remaining in the second quarter to make it 28-7. Recording 140 total yards – 107 receiving, 33 rushing – on nine touches, Patritto was unfortunately injured early in the third quarter.
Leaving in an ambulance with an apparent lower-body injury, Patritto’s father, Adams’ head coach Tony Patritto, left the game with him. Defensive coordinator Mark McFarland assumed head coaching responsibilities.
The only scoring either team generated in the second half was a 23-yard field goal by senior Derek Larson late in the third quarter.
“I’m proud of how our guys dealt with adversity,” McFarland said. “The focal point is Anthony’s injury. We knew we had to finish the job, that’s where our senior leadership came in. There was a lot of good, we played better and better as the game went on.”
Through two games, Oxford’s offense has produced a total of just 21 points. Splitting time at quarterback, senior Drew and sophomore Brady Carpenter combined to complete 11-23 passes for 97 yards and an interception.
“They whipped us,” head coach Bud Rowley swiftly summarized. “Whipped us on offense, on defense, on special teams.
“I hope that kid’s (Patritto) injury is not too bad,” Rowley added.
Oxford will look to get on track when the Cats face Bloomfield Hills in another away game this Friday at 7 p.m.