CATEGORY: FOL High School Football
HED:Calhoun City, Oxford not far apart on the field
By Wayne Clements
Calhoun City and Oxford play in different classifications, but they're in the same class on the football field.
The differences are easy to see. Oxford is ranked No. 11 in The Associated Press rankings of large schools in the state and No. 3 in the Daily Journal-area poll. Calhoun City is ranked No. 10 in the AP's Little 10 and No. 2 in the Daily Journal small school poll.
Calhoun City, a Class 2A school with a 4-1 record, is coming off wins over Eupora (40-21) and Cleveland (24-0). Oxford, a Class 4A school, heads into Friday's game with the Wildcats with a little chip on its shoulder:
A year ago, the Wildcats stole a 20-19 win, scoring two touchdowns in the final 6 minutes.
"This team is just like the one we played down there last year," Oxford coach Robert Youngblood said. "They're probably got more athleticism than anybody we've played. We've certainly got our hands full."
So do the Wildcats, coach Mike Ray said.
"(Mario) Frierson is a good athlete, and their quarterback (Chris Lee) is just as good," Ray said. "They play sound defense and they're not going to make any mistakes on offense. Senatobia had them on the ropes, the defense caused a fumble and picked it up and ran it in for a touchdown.
"Their defense has kept them going, but their offense is nothing to joke about."
The Wildcats are getting good production out of quarterback Jonathan Herrod, who started the season as a backup to Jason Gates. Gates, injured for a couple of games, is back playing defensive back, wide receiver and, occasionally, quarterback.
"It's taken him a few games to get more consistent," Ray said. "We scored every time we got in the red zone (inside the 20) the other night. That's the first time we've done that all year.
"(Gates) adds more dimension to our offense," Ray said of Gates' change in positions. "With Jody Jennings on one side and him on the other, it puts more heat on (defenses)."
In other games, Mantachie travels to Mooreville in an effort to stop two streaks: Mooreville's three-game winning streak and Mantachie's two-game losing streak.
"We've got a lot of confidence right now," Mooreville coach Michael Bradley said. "Our team, our school and our community are real excited right now. I hope it doesn't come crashing down around us Friday night."