EAST NOTTINGHAM >> Senior quarterback Chandler England and the Oxford Hornets found themselves in an unusual spot for their third game of the season Friday night.
Unusual as in this week didn’t require a fourth quarter comeback to win.
England and the Hornets took the lead early and would not relinquish in a 42-26 win over Phoenixville.
During the first couple of plays, the Hornets were locked in. Until the third play of the game when England would throw an interception. It would be his first of two interceptions, both being tipped by Phoenixville’s defensive linemen.
“I knew I had to get my head out of it,” England said. “I had a problem last year throwing picks and taking myself out of the game. We are going to face a lot of adversity this season and I had to get over it and make plays tonight.”
But the next offensive series England needed just one play to forget his mistake by throwing a 76-yard pass to a wide-open Brandon DeShields down the middle.
“I saw they left the safety after we motioned DeShields to the left,” England said. “He had one-on-one coverage with the linebacker, and he’s the best wide receiver in the Chest-Mont. You can’t cover him with a linebacker.”
On Friday night, a case could be made for DeShields being one of the best wide receivers in the Chest-Mont. He caught five passes from England for 183 yards and two touchdowns.
That touchdown to DeShields was England’s first of four touchdown passes on the night. He finished the game 12-for-19 for 263 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
While looking calm and collected in the pocket, England also showed off his running game by attempting 10 rushes for 52 yards and a two-yard quarterback sneak in the third quarter.
The only thing stopping the senior quarterback was Phoenixville defensive back Zion Small, who picked off England twice while returning one for a 50-yard touchdown.
But the passing attack was not the only thing Oxford had going during the game.
Oxford used a three-headed rushing attack from England, Tim Faber and Brandon Holz. Together they rushed 30 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Faber, a sophomore tailback who stepped up for an injured Holz last week, seems to have gained some more of the coach’s trust. Faber lead the team with 11 rushes, 81 yards and added a touchdown. He scored the second touchdown for the Hornets on a 15-yard rush up the middle to make the game 14-0 with 8:00 minutes in the first.
“My offensive line did great and I made plays off of them,” Faber said. “I think Holz and I are going to be big going forward, it’s not just about me.”
Special teams may be a problem for the Hornets going forward. As penalties, muffed punts and poorly executed extra points could have led to bigger problems, especially against the stronger conference foes coming up on the schedule.
“If I’m being totally honest there was not a lot I liked,” Oxford head coach Mike Means said. “I felt like this was the least clean game we played. It was a lack of communication and these guys need to learn how to win with communication. We’ve got to clean up a lot of stuff because we have Rustin coming in next week.”
The Hornets will look forward to their first home conference game against West Chester Rustin Friday at 7.