|Photo by Bill Rudick/ Oxford's Musty Mahmud streaks down the sideline for a touchdown during Friday's win over Octorara.|
By BILL RUDICK
OXFORD — Paced by a pair of running backs clearing the century mark, Oxford rolled up 358 yards on the ground and limited mistakes in the second half to top visiting Octorara, 35-7, for a homecoming win.
“We’re the first class ever to win three straight homecoming games,” said Hornet running back Colton Turns. “It’s going to make going to the dance a lot more fun tomorrow.”
Turns finished the night with 113 yards on 14 carries, with onetouchdown run of 11 yards. The quick and elusive Turns broke four different runs for 15 or more yards, but he wasn’t even the leading rusher on his own team.
Musty Mahmud returned to action Friday night after missing several games with an injury. Mahmud showed the form that made him the Hornets’ leading rusher last season, piling up 122 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.
“I think we are one of the best running back duos in the Ches-Mont,” said Turns. “It’s our goal every time we get to step on the field together to each get a hundred yards and a touchdown. If we’re firing on all cylinders, it takes a load off the coaches, and takes the pressure off (quarterback) Ethan (Herb).”
Having both backs on the field is a luxury coach Mike Pietlock relishes.
“They complement each other very well,” said Pietlock. “When we have them both healthy, it makes things very tough on a defense, because they can’t key on just one of them. That showed at the start of the second half when Colton broke the counter on the first play, and then was running lead on Musty’s big gain the next play.”
But possibly even more important for Oxford was the cutting down of turnovers in the second half. Despite holding a significant statistical advantage over the first half, the Hornets only took a 7-0 lead into the break, thanks mainly to three turnovers.
“We’re a danger to ourselves sometimes,” said Pietlock. “It’s just a matter of which team is going to show up. Fortunately, we cleaned it up a bit in the second half.”
The result was a 21-point third period that broke up a game that was close on the scoreboard to that point.
“Oxford made some mistakes in the first half to give us some opportunities,” said Octorara coach Jed King. “But we simply didn’t execute well enough to take advantage of them. Oxford has two very good backs, and they came out and executed in the second half, and we just didn’t.”
The game’s leading rusher was one of King’s Braves. Quarterback Alex Gooden led all rushers with 145 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
“He’s a weapon, that for sure,” said King of Gooden. “He just makes stuff happen. And he’s become a leader, too, stepping in and calming things down when some of our guys were getting a little chippy.”Gooden also threw for 101 yards, but was picked off three times as well.
“Coach Pietlock really got us motivated at half time,” said Turns. “We came out in the second half, motivated, and just had fun. When you’re having fun, good things happen.”
Up next for the Hornets is a divisional battle with Rustin.
“If we put together four good quarters of football, we’re going to be tough to beat,” said Pietlock.
Oxford 35, Octorara 7
Octorara 0 0 7 0 -- 7
Oxford 7 0 21 7 -- 35
Ox-Hubley 4 pass from Herb (Boohar kick)
Ox-Turns 11 run (Boohar kick)
Ox-Mahmud 1 run (Boohar kick)
Oc-Gooden 30 run (Reynolds kick)
Ox-Way 11 run (Boohar kick)
Ox-Rosa 11- run (Boohar kick)
First downs 15 x24Yards rushing 192 358
Yards passing 101 58
Total yards 293 416
Passing 7-22-3 4-9-1
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 6-3
Penalties 7-65 7-60
Punts-Avg. 1-24 1-21
Rushing - Oc: Gooden 20-145, TD; Devlin 10-22; Cooper 3-21; Norris 3-4. Ox: Turns 14-113, TD; Mahmud 16-122, TD; Way 7-54, TD; Lopez 4-40; Rosa 3-13, TD; Herb 2-16.
Passing - Oc: Gooden 7-22-3, 101 yards. Ox: Herb 4-9-1, 58 yards, TD.
Receiving - Oc: DiNorscia 3-59; Butler 1-5; Cooper 1-5. Ox: Dawkins 2-43; Davis 1-11; Hubley 1-4, TD.
Sacks - Oc: None. Ox: Bentz
Interceptions - Oc: Devlin. Ox: Hubley, Lopez, Rivera.