November 06, 2013 - The 2013 Oxford Wildcats finished their season on Friday losing to Clarkston in the first round of the playoffs, 30-27, and ended with a 5-5 record.
Oxford QB Glacier Wallington dives for extra yardage after a big gain. (click for larger version)
But, the record doesn't adequately reflect the quality of the team and the fact that the Cats could have won nine of those 10 games with a little luck.
Coach Bud Rowley said he was very proud of his team and how much they fought all season.
"We were 2-4 and one time and it looked bad and these guys never gave up," Rowley said. The team rallied with two wins in their final two games of the season to make the playoffs.
"It is probably one of the best senior classes in many years. I am very proud of them and my four captains were awesome," he said.
The Clarkston game was another matchup for an undermanned group of Wildcats who fought for a full 48 minutes and just came up short to a Clarkston team that is now 9-1.
It was like that all season, as Oxford lost one game by seven points, one by five and two by three points. Those games could have gone either way. The only loss of the season in that was not a close game was a loss to Southfield, 21-0.
"I thought it was a great playoff game for both sides. Clarkston played really well and I thought we played really well. I thought it could go either way – a call here, a call there. I thought both teams did a great job," Rowley said.
Even though Clarkston never trailed in the game, the Wolves were constantly being pressured by a relentless Oxford offense.
The Wolves scored first in the opening quarter but Oxford answered with a TD run by quarterback Glacier Wallington with 3:47 left in the quarter. Clarkston scored three more times, on two touchdowns and a field goal, before halftime.
Wallington accounted for more than 400 yards of offense, including rushing for 206 yards and passing for 205.
Wallington scored a second TD on a 24-yard run late in the second quarter. The extra point was no good and Clarkston held a 24-13 lead at the break.
Oxford's Wes Maskill scored eight seconds into the fourth quarter to cut the Wolves' lead to 24-19 but Clarkston came back to score with 9:55 left to increase their lead to 30-19.
The Wildcats drove 77 yards to try to cut the lead to one score but the Wolves defense stopped Maskill inside the one-yard line with barely two minutes left in the game.
Oxford's defense shut down Clarkston on the ensuing possession and got the ball back with 1:27 left. The Cats marched down and scored this time on a two-yard run by Maskill. A two point conversion by Wallington cut the lead to 30-27 with only 16 seconds left.
The Wildcats attempted an onside kick but it was recovered by Clarkston to end the game.
Wallington, a junior who has been the Wildcat's quarterback since his freshman year, had his best game statistically of his career. He rushed for 206 yards on 20 carries and also threw for 205 yards on 10 completions.
The game statistics showed just how close the contest was. Each team had 21 first downs.
Clarkston had 260 yards rushing and Oxford had 257. The Wildcats finished with 206 passing yards while the Wolves recorded 173 yards.
Mitchel Tilley led Oxford with five catches for 143 yards.
John Patrick and Tilley were defensive standouts. Patrick had 10 tackles and Tilley recorded eight.
Former Leader Editor Dan Shriner will cover Wildcat football this season.