OXFORD — Overcoming an early six-point deficit, the Oxford Wildcats held off South Central Border League opponent Central of Burden 22-12 in the season opener for both teams Friday night.
The Wildcats — 1-0 on the season — avenged last season’s 52-6 thumping at the hands of the Raiders in Burden. Oxford opened 2018 with eighth straight losses before capping off the season with a blowout victory over West Elk. OHS will hit the road for the first time this season on Sept. 13 when it travels to Sedan, which dropped to 0-1 on the season following a 52-14 home loss to St. Paul.
Meanwhile, the Raiders dropped to 0-1 overall following Friday’s loss and will next entertain Argonia/Attica (0-1), which fell 40-34 to Central Christian, on Sept. 13. Central of Burden is coming off a 6-4 campaign that included a trip to the regional round of the Eight Man-Division I playoffs.
The Raiders lost several key players from last year’s playoff team but did jump ahead early in Friday’s contest. Quarterback Logan Branscum found Tony Brogan for an 18-yard scoring strike to give the visitors an early 6-0 edge.
Oxford came right back later in the opening quarter. Ty Carter hit Colin Whitson from 16 yards out to even things up, and Andrew Hills ran in the conversion to give the Wildcats an 8-6 advantage after one period.
That’s where things stood at halftime. OHS opened up a two-possession game on a seven-yard scoring scamper by Kyan Morris. Carter followed that up with the conversion pass to Anthony Schulte for a 16-6 lead that Oxford took into the final quarter.
The Raiders made things interesting as Brogan dove into the end zone from a yard out to cut the margin down to four. But the Wildcats sealed the victory later in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard run into the end zone from Morris.
Central finished the game with 234 total yards — 170 of which came on the ground. The Raiders were led rushing-wise by Zarek Wilson, who had 17 carries for 129 yards.
No individual or team statistics were made available for Oxford.