Hornets nip Kennett in thriller
Late England-to-Brown touchdown gives Oxford first division win
EAST NOTTINGHAM >> The Oxford football team have lost a number of close games this season, many in the waning minutes.
Friday, the football Gods paid them back. As their seniors played their final home game, the Hornets created some late magic for the home crowd of the contest. Friday night as Oxford honored their outgoing seniors playing their final home game, the Hornets pulled some late heroics of their own, Chandler England found Troy Brown open in the end zone with 31 seconds left as Oxford edged Kennett, 23-22, in a Ches-Mont League American Division contest. The win was the first in the American for the Hornets as they moved to 1-4 in the division and 2-7 overall.
“It just feels so good to finally win one of these close games,” said senior linebacker Brendon Chew. “We’ve finally had both offense and defense step up and do what we needed to do. Hopefully, we’ll close out with a win next week and give the guys coming back something to build on.”
Trailing, 16-6, to start the fourth quarter, the Blue Demons (1-5, 3-6) battled back with a pair of touchdowns, a 15-yard pass from Jake Dilcher
to Dom D’Angelo, and a three-yard run from Connor Hyzny. The second score gave Kennett a 22-16 lead with 4:34 to play.
“You could almost feel it on the sidelines,” said Oxford coach Mike Means. “We’ve lost so many tight ones, they could have felt like ‘here we go again.’ But even after they stopped us on that first drive after they took the lead, our guys were up and confident when we got the ball back. They believed we were going to get this one”
The Hornets took their final chance on their own 32-yard line with 1:08 left. England calmly marched the Hornets down field on pass plays to the sideline. Helped by a pass interference call, the Hornets found themselves with a first down at the Kennett 11.
England went for the end zone, where the Kennett defender anticipated Brown running a fade, but he cut back, found himself open, and England threw a strike for the 12-yard score. “That was a great call by coach Means there because I was wide open,” said Brown. “All I could think about was that this might be my last chance to catch a touchdown pass in high school. I’m just glad I caught it and we won this game.”
Ryan Hannum, after a penalty and a time out, delivered the extra point to Oxford in front.
“Last week was tough for me, with a couple kicks blocked,” said Hannum. “I was just really happy to make this one and get the win.”
Oxford ends its season next week at Octorara, while Kennett hosts Great Valley.
“I’m just really happy for the kids that we came out on the right end of one of these,” said Means. “We’re 2-7, but if you take out the Rustin game, I think we might actually be in the positive for point differential. This could be a big turning point for our program, They showed they could not get down on themselves and win one down the stretch.”
Patrick Kinsella goes up high to make a catch that set up Oxford’s first touchdown Friday night.
Tim Davis scores the first touchdown for Oxford Friday night.