n Lafayette gets second straight OT win against Oxford.

BY CHASE PARHAM

Special to the Journal

OXFORD - The ball hit the turf, a split second passed and No. 5 Lafayette County rushed the field.

The home-standing Commodores fought off a fierce Oxford comeback in regulation and dominated the initial overtime period to pick up a 21-14 victory over the Chargers (1-3, 0-1 in Region 2-4A) in the annual Crosstown Classic. The game was the region opener for both schools.

After Lafayette (3-1, 1-0) took the first possession of overtime and scored on a 1-yard plunge from quarterback Montez Phillips, the Commodore defense forced a fourth-and-11. Pandemonium ensued moments later when Oxford quarterback Matthew Shaw's desperation heave fell in the back of the end zone.

It is the second straight extra-session Lafayette win against the Chargers.

"It was one of those deals where we made the plays needed to win," Commodore head coach Anthony Hart said. "We play hard, and we have some youth on the field, but we always play hard. We did what was needed to come away with it."

A 10-yard pass from Phillips to tight end Chris Gullick set up the game-winning dive. The junior quarterback finished with 109 yards of total offense, including 79 yards rushing.

Lafayette used outstanding field position to post a 14-3 halftime advantage, but Oxford used a touchdown and two-point conversion along with a field goal to knot the score with 5 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

The Charger defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession and attempted a game-winning drive, but a meltdown occurred in the process.

Oxford fought down to the Commodore 22 before a holding penalty and a sack pushed the Chargers back to the 38-yard line. The fourth-down pass was incomplete, and Lafayette knelt down to force overtime.

Oxford kicker Garner Shivers opened the scoring with a 39-yard field goal in the first quarter before Lafayette put up 14 in the second frame.

The first score was set up by an interception from Dominique Price that allowed the Commodores to begin the drive on the Oxford 9-yard line. Phillips and Gullick hooked up for a 6-yard touchdown pass.

The following Lafayette series started on the Oxford 47 and was capped off with a 2-yard run by Buddy Toles.

The Chargers got back in the game with a 44-yard catch and run by Horatio Williams, a two-point conversion rush from Dwayne Parham and a 45-yard field goal from Shivers. Derrick Williams led Oxford on the ground with 69 yards.

"We can't play only two quarters against a good football team," Charger head coach Johnny Hill said. "We are going to learn that one of these days."

n Game summary, Page 5D

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