Special teams play lifts Oxford

OXFORD – All it took was 13 seconds for Oxford to quickly regroup from a stunning turnover and Harpursville’s tying touchdown.

Jeremy Nelson returned a kickoff 89 yards for the go-ahead – and winning – touchdown giving the Blackhawks an 18-12 victory over the Hornets Friday night.

An inopportune miscue for Oxford came deep deep in its own territory, and allowed the Hornets to convert a 16-yard TD drive. Ryan Dalpiaz’s one-yard sneak knotted the game up with 5:14 to play.

Nelson, who returned a kickoff for a TD last season that keyed a season-ending win over UV-Edmeston, hit a seam in his blocking wedge, and raced untouched down the left sideline.

“We need big plays out of Jerr, and he came through for us in a clutch situation,” said Oxford coach Mike Chrystie. “It says a lot about this team. We hung in there through adversity, and we got out of a rut. We had to turn it around as a team.”

Oxford (1-1, 1-2) desperately needed the win given the future playoff implications in Section IV’s Class D. After taking the lead for good, the Blackhawks’ defense made two big defensive stops to snuff out Harpursville’s comeback effort.

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