PHOENIXVILLE >> Phoenixville football coach Evan Breisblatt was not fooled by Oxford’s winless record.
Entering Friday night’s non-league game at Washington Field on Operation American Pride Military Night, Breisblatt noted the Hornets had dropped close outings against West Chester Henderson and Avon Grove through the season’s opening two weeks.
On Friday night, Oxford capitalized on four Phoenixville second-half turnovers to secure a 32-6 victory. The Hornets scored 32 unanswered points — 26 in the second half — after being tied at 6-6 at halftime
For the evening, Phoenixville turned the ball over six times (four interceptions, two fumbles), which enabled Oxford to turn a tight game into a rout against a Phoenixville team that was coming off its first victory of the season, a road win against Upper Moreland last weekend.
Oxford coach Michael Means was glad to see his defense force some turnovers.
“The turnovers were huge,” said Means. “Credit our defensive coordinator and our defensive coaching staff. Our defense did a great job the entire game. They put in a game plan for what they (Phantoms) try to do.”
And then he was happy the offense, led by running back Tim Davis and quarterback Chandler England, was able to gain yardage moving the other direction and turn the miscues into points at the other end of the field.
Means felt it marked the first time this season that the Hornets put four quarters of good football together, ultimately the main reason for their first victory of the season.
The Phoenixville defense limited Davis to 31 yards rushing on 13 tries in the first half, but he ended the night with 71 yards on 23 attempts and three scores.
England completed 9 of 18 passing attempts for 129 yards and one touchdown, an 18-yard strike to Pat Kinsela.
Nolan Benke, Eric Impriano, Cole Gruver and Brendan Chew intercepted passes for the Hornets.
Alijah Thomas returned a fumble 14 yards for a touchdown when the Phantoms were in punt formation. Nate Ferro also recovered a fumble for Oxford.
Phoenixville opened the scoring on a nine-yard pass from quarterback Troy Rossman to wide receiver Shyheim Abernathy with 4:39 left in the second quarter.
After that, Oxford reeled off 32 unanswered points.
Phoenixville’s Matt Garcia rushed it 21 times for 90 yards, with 70 of those stripes accounted for during the opening half.
The Phantoms’ Nasir Green made four receptions for 37 yards. Rossman’s eight completions were good for 66 yards.
Durron Johnson had two catches while Abernathy and Matt Osisek-Byrne had one apiece. Ezekial Frank-Vinson recovered a fumble for the Phantoms
“We had too many turnovers,” said Breisblatt. “We had four or five in the second half. We kept giving it back to them. You are never going to win a football game like that.
“We played a great first half. It was a very even first half. We executed at times. Then we got down on ourselves and we couldn’t get anything going.”