By Adam Brown
A 6A powerhouse match is brewing in Oxford tonight as the Chargers welcome the Northwest Rankin Cougars to town for their season opener. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Bobby Holcomb Field.
The Chargers present a veteran team in 2019 with 16 starters returning to the field who finished 9-3 overall and 6-2 in district play last year.
“We have 30 seniors. That is a bigger class than last year,” Oxford Head Coach Chris Cutcliffe said.
Throughout fall camp the Chargers have had one position group stand out, according to Cutcliffe.
“(The tight-ends) are a very versatile group that have done everything we have asked of them,” he said.
The Chargers are off to a promising start after taking down Charleston last Friday 21-6. Cutcliffe said despite the winning score, the experience left much room for improvement.
Northwest Rankin finished the 2018 season with an 11-2 record and was a perfect 7-0 in district play. Last season, the offense averaged 37.8 points per game and the defense only allowed their opponents to score an average 16.8.
“(Northwest Rankin) is a winning program who is very well-coached and fast as a team,” Cutcliffe said.
The Cougars return key players Patrick Lindsey, offensive lineman Aiden McCollough and senior linebacker Taylor Hunt to the team.
“We understand the environment that they are about to walk into and have to match that intensity and be ready for them and know what all the team is going to have to bring to the table,” Cutcliffe said.