Source: Sherman Publications

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Cats guarantee playoff berth

by Dan Shriner

October 10, 2012

Oxford’s Piper Thaler recovers a fumble. Photos by Dan Shriner.
The Oxford Wildcat's best offensive showing of the year on Friday will hopefully give Coach Bud Rowley's team a boost heading into the team's biggest game of the season.

The Wildcats rolled to a 48-6 trouncing of Southfield Lathrup at Oxford's homecoming last week and on Friday must go against undefeated Oak Park in a game that is a must-win for Oxford to guarantee a state playoff berth.

The game will be at 7 p.m. at Wildcat Stadium. Oak Park is undefeated at 7-0 and 6-0 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division. Oxford is 4-3 overall and must have six wins to guarantee a playoff spot. They will play a crossover game at home in the final regular season game. Their opponent is not yet known.

Rowley knows how to prepare his team for a big game and was already thinking about the matchup within minutes after the win over Lathrup.

"This was a good game tonight. It was homecoming and everyone had a chance to play. They should all have a good time tonight and tomorrow at the homecoming dance but come Monday 'let's go,'" he said.

"We have to get down to business on Monday and do what we need to do to prepare. We will be ready," he said.

The Wildcats were ready against the Chargers from the start and put up more than 350 yards of offense.

Oxford's defense held Lathrup to a negative-3 yards in the first half and little in the second half, when the second team was on the field.

Oxford ran and passed to a 34-0 lead at halftime and continued to move well in the second half, even after the starters were on the sidelines.

The Wildcat's first TD came on the first of four scores by Liam Logan, who finished the night with 133 yards rushing.

Logan's longest TD run of the game, a 27-yarder, came on Oxford's second possession and gave the Cats a 14-0 lead with 2:32 of the first quarter after the second of Josh Nelson's five conversions.

Quarterback Glacier Wallington connected with Kyle Anderson on a 51 yard touchdown pass with 6:48 left in the second quarter to make it 27-0. Less than three minutes later, Zeb Throne blocked a punt deep in Charger territory. Logan scored his third TD from five yards out for a 34-0 lead.

In the third quarter, a Zach Hadorn added another TD from six yards out to give Oxford a 41-0 lead. The Wildcat's final score came on a run by Ben Line.

Lathrup scored its only TD as time expired. Oxford finished with 268 yards rushing and 93 passing.