ATGLEN—When Oxford quarterback Chandler England is looking for a receiver downfield, more often than not this season, it is Brandon DeShields pulling in the catch. The pair have teamed up often enough this year that DeShields came into Friday night’s game at Octorara needing 97 yards to become the first Oxford receiver since Ryan Hubley in 2013 to clear the 1000 yard plateau.
DeShields hauled in five balls for 104 yards and a touchdown as the Hornets (6-4) cruised to a 55-21 victory over the Braves (2-8) in Octorara’s final game in the Ches-Mont League.
“It’s great to get the thousand yards,” said DeShields. “But it’s even better that we are winning and we made the district playoffs. That’s what the goal was more than any individual stats.”
The win clinched Oxford’s first winning season since going 7-3 back in 2013, and the first since the arrival of coach Mike Means.
“We need to step it up another notch as we go into the playoffs,” said Means. “It’s great that we’ve improved every year, but now it’s time to prove we’re ready to take the next step. We’ll enjoy this win, and getting the winning season, but if any of the guys are satisfied with this, I’m not doing my job.”
Oxford’s defense did the job on Octorara’s first possession, knocking the Braves backward for three straight plays and forcing a punt. Then the offense went to work, covering 63 yards on two passes and two runs, and capped by a two-yard run from England.
But the Braves answered back quickly, tying the game at 7-7 on a 65-yard run from Brandon Jackson.
“We all knew we needed to step it up and play our game,” said Holz. “We can’t play down to their level. We need to win, and we need to play our best as we move into the playoffs.”
Holz finished the night with 142 yards on 11 carries, including three touchdowns, and keyed the offensive surge that gave the Hornets a 41-14 lead at the half. The Hornets rushed for 275 yards on the night, while England completed 9of 13 passes for 196 yards and a touchdown.
Rounding out the scoring for Octorara were Jude Unitis, who scored on a 9-yard run in the second period, and quarterback Trent Pawling, who closed out the scoring with a 32-yard run.
“Mike (Means) has done a great job with Oxford and has really turned Oxford into a great program,” said Octorara coach Jedd King. “All of the coaches in the league are class acts and have improved the quality of their programs. I’m proud to have been a part of this league, and I will miss it. But we’re looking forward to the opportunities waiting in the Lancaster-Lebanon League, where we’ll play schools closer in size. But hopefully we’ll get some of the Ches-Mont schools on our non-league schedule down the road.”
Oxford 20 21 14 0 — 55
Octorara 7 7 0 7 — 21
OX —England 2-run (O’Connor Kick) 7-0
OCT — Jackson 65-run (Smith kick) 7-7
OX—Holz 1-run (O’Connor Kick) 14-7
OX–Neskie 1-run, kick fail 20-7
OX–Holz 20-run (O’Connor Kick) 27-7
OCT —Unitis 9-run (Smith kick) 27-14
OX-DeShields 11-pass from England (O’Connor Kick) 34-14
OX–England 15-run (O’Connor Kick) 41-14
OX-Holz 52-run (O’Connor Kick) 48-14
OX–Chew 2-run (O’Connor Kick)
OCT — Pawling 32-run (Smith kick) 21-13
First downs 15 12
Rushes-yards 36-275 33-180
Passing 9-13 6-14
Passing yards 196 56
Total yards 471 236
Punts 0-0 3-18.3
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-0
Penalties-yards 5-42 3-15
Rushing — X Holz 11-142 3TD, Chew 15-50 TD, England 4-40 TD Neskie 1-22 TD, Repetz 1-2 Horseman 2-5. Moon 1-7 Vining 1-7 OCT Jackson 4-69 TD Hall 13-31 Pawling 8-52 TD Unitis 6-35 TD Kernana1-2 Schempp 1-(-7)
Passing — OX England 9-13, 196, TD OCT Pawling 6-14, 56 INT
Receiving — OX DeShields 5-104 TD, Thomas 3-86, Neskie 1-6 OCT Garver 4-15, Hall 1-(-1) Easterday 1-42
Interceptions — OX Ferro
Sacks —OX–Renninger, Nadachowski, Lilly
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