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In game of yards, Oxbow football tips Windsor by a foot

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/5/2019 10:01:41 PM
Modified: 10/5/2019 10:01:39 PM

BRADFORD, Vt. — Jace Page hit a 28-yard field goal with 24 seconds remaining to deliver Oxbow High football a 37-36 victory on Saturday over visiting Windsor.

The Olympians trailed, 36-34, with less than three minutes remaining, but quarterback Cooper Simmons led them quickly down the field on a 54-yard drive, which included six completions.

Simmons’ go-to wide receiver, Hunter Locke, dropped a pass in the end zone on third-and-goal, but Page easily hit the winning field goal on fourth down.

“In high school football, to have a kid that can consistently go out there and knock down kicks is huge,” Oxbow coach Chad Wescott said. “To have a kid like that at this level is a game-changer. Not to be nervous, too.”

Down 36-28 at the end of the third quarter, the O’s defense forced a four-and-out at the start of the fourth quarter.

On second down of the ensuing possession, running back Trevor Moore ripped off a 50-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 36-34, but Oxbow couldn’t convert the two-point attempt.

Oxbow led, 20-14, at the half, thanks to three touchdown passes from Simmons, but Windsor rallied thanks to the return of running back Caleb Meagher. The Upper Valley’s second-leading rusher, Meagher missed the first half because of a family wedding.

The Yellowjackets opened up the second half with a 10-play, 60-yard drive over four minutes, capped off by a Meagher 4-yard touchdown run. The senior carried the ball seven times for 37 yards on the drive.

Oxbow’s Harley Wescott fumbled the ball on first down of the following possession, and Windsor (1-5) took advantage of the opportunity by piecing together another drive of 35 yards, with 32 yards coming on Meagher runs.

“When you get fresh legs like that, in the second half, and to consistently run outside with his quickness, it’s huge,” Chad Wescott said.

“We tried to adjust. We told the kids, ‘Hey, they’re going to him the rest of the game. They’re going to feed him.’ We made enough plays to make a difference.”

Simmons finished the afternoon 18-of-34 for 270 yards and four touchdowns. He now has 16 touchdown passes on the season and 1,358 passing yards.

He connected with Locke twice for touchdowns in the first half on passes of 44 and 50 yards. Locke tallied seven receptions and 174 yards; he now has 12 touchdown receptions on the season.

The duo’s been able to guide Oxbow to a 3-3 record in VPA Division III, in large part to their chemistry on and off the field. Simmons’ arm strength partnered with Locke’s speed has been trouble for opponents.

Chad Wescott said in the preseason that the O’s would run a spread offense, and Saturday showed the growth of the offense through six games. They used a hurry-up offense, which kept the Windsor defense running and its offense forced to sustain drives.

“We played together as a team; that’s a team effort,” Simmons said. “We haven’t won a game on this field all year, it was nice to come together like this.”

Notes: Oxbow hosts Poultney on Saturday. Windsor visits Otter Valley. … Meagher finished the game with 20 carries for 98 yards and two scores. Quarterback Max Clifford was 0-for-6 with an interception. Windsor’s power offense produced 286 yards by six rushers. … Oxbow wide receiver John Moore had three receptions, two touchdown catches and 48 yards. Harley Wescott had a team-high 43 yards on four carries.

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