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Cats beat up Lathrup 42-18



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Oxford’s Prescott Line leaves several would-be tacklers in the dust as he makes his way down the field to score one of his five touchdowns against Southfield Lathrup. Photos by Dan Shriner. (click for larger version)
September 07, 2011 - LATHRUP VILLAGE – It did not really matter how the Oxford Wildcats started their football match-up on Friday against Southfield Lathrup.

It was how they finished that was impressive.

The Cats spotted the Chargers 18 points in the first 16 minutes of the game and then reeled off 42 consecutive points to run away with the contest, 42-18, in temperatures that exceeded 90 degrees.

By the third quarter, it had become obvious that Oxford's superior conditioning and rock-em-sock-em style had worn down Lathrup.

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The Wildcats scored 14 points in each of the final three quarters while the team's defense held Lathrup to only one first down in the second half.

"They were a tough team and came out pumped up." Said Coach Bud Rowley. "We had a great win last week and our kids started slow. They finally said 'that's enough and now its time to go to work.'''

Rowley credited his senior leadership and named Tyler Hunsucker as a key player who stepped up from his tight end position to play running back following an injury.

"He stepped in for Matt Anger and turned things around," Rowley said.

"The team just had to suck it up and play. Our seniors led the way and the rest of the team followed."

One of the team leaders was Prescott Line, who rushed for five touchdowns and 232 yards on 31 carries. In the week one win against Lake Orion, Line also ran for the identical 232 yards and five TDs.

Line's 10 touchdowns and one two-point conversion, for 62 points in two games, makes him the leading scorer in state high school varsity football.

Line also led the defense from his middle linebacker spot with 11 tackles and one interception, which he returned for 15 yards to set up one of his scores.

Already leading, 12-0 early in the second quarter, a 74-yard pass play gave Lathrup a first down on Oxford's five-yard line. Quarterback Jamal Lyles scored to make it 18-0. The Chargers failed to convert the extra points on all of their scores.

Rowley said Oxford's quarterback Vito Giannola was one of the seniors who said they had enough and it was time to get moving.

A few minutes later Giannola connected with Kyle Anderson for a four-yard TD. The Cats failed to convert the extra point and trailed 18-6.

For the remainder of the game, Line and the Oxford offensive and defensive lines controlled the play. Just before halftime, Line scored on a nine-yard run and then added a two-point conversion to cut the lead to 18-14 at the break.

In the third quarter, Line carried the ball on 15 of the first 16 plays and had three TDs and nearly 150 yards rushing in a little over one quarter. He scored the final TD in the fourth quarter. John Kitchner kicked five conversions as the Cats rolled to the win.

Oxford finished with 276 yards rushing and 45 passing. Lathrup had 103 yards rushing and 97 passing. They had eight first downs for the game and only one in the second half.

Oxford is 2-0 in the White Division of the Oakland Activities Association. They will entertain Farmington on Friday at 7 p.m.

Former Leader Editor Dan Shriner will cover Wildcat football this season.
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