OXFORD LANCERS 7-37 Gloucester Gladiators
This was a huge game for both teams. Both were on 2-2 going into this game chasing the 3 place and playoff wild card spot. If either team can win out (last two games) they will make the playoffs.
The week before our coaches watched OBU squeeze out a win over Gloucester giving a 5-0 and a playoff spot. In that game we saw a very tough, well organised Gladiator team and we knew it was not going to be an easy fight.
After a one hour delayed delayed kickoff due to the Gladiators having a travel issue, the Lancers received the kick off. With no warning there were no referees for this game. Two of our own coaches and a coach from Gloucester stepped up to ref the game, and in the second half, two coaches from our friends over at OBU refereed the second half, which was very nice of them.
We starting off with a three and out but sadly after a decent punt the gladiators scored on their first offensive play with a 60 yd outside run. The missed the pat and the Lancers were down 6-0.
ThenLancers bounced back with one of the drives of the season. An 85 yd ,12 play drive got us to the Gladiators five yard line. Running back Connor Thompson went 94 yds rushing in the day most of his yards came from this drive. On an important third down play, rookie receiver, Arb “T.J” Xhameni made a clutch play; he caught the short hitch but we needed five more yards to make the first down, he made what is now known as his “ trademark move”; the “hitch and spin”. He got clear of the defender for the important first down. The drive finished with our Qb Will Szymanski firing a cannon to wide receiver Andy Badger for the 5 yard touchdown. Lewis Morgan’s boot converted the point after and Lancers were 7-6 up.
After a good kick return from Gloucester giving them decent field position they made big plays running outside and three plays later they were in for another touchdown. They attempted the two point pat but Chris “Megatron” Nowek and Rory Smith combined for a tackle for a loss leading to a 12-7
The Lancers made plenty of yards in their next drive but sadly were forced to punt. The Gloucester outside run game was unstoppable once again and three plays later they ran in for a 60 yd touchdown.
After some good work on Offense there were near misses to our receivers and we punted again, taking us into the half.
After the break the Oxford defense managed to slow the run game down for Gloucester. Our six year vet Oscar Rahnama who was playing right tackle in the first half went both ways for the rest of the game and at linebacker he made some huge stops to help slow down this potent Gloucester ground game. But the Gladiators adjusted and went to the air and scored their fourth touchdown. The defense did make a red zone stand, but it was too late by this point. By this point our offense had to strike quickly and we aired the ball out more which led to interceptions and short drives.
One upside towards the end was Andy Badger covering at corner back due to injuries and made an interception late in the game. He told us later that the last time this 30 year old veteran had scored a receiving touchdown and made an interception in the same game was way back in 2003.
-- Adam Goldstein