Homecoming games normally are scheduled against weak opponents. But Largo chose to play Oxon Hill, which has one of the more punishing defensive squads in the area.

It was a grueling game between two Prince George's County teams that entered the game tied for first place with 5-0 records. It ended with third-ranked Oxon Hill beating No. 20 Largo, 13-6.

Oxon Hill gained 157 yards, Largo 186 in the defensive battle.

The Clippers' leading rusher, Mark McCain (10 carries for 41 yards), was carried off the field with 38 seconds left in the third quarter with a bruised right knee and was taken to the hospital. Other Oxon Hill players, particulary quarterback Russell Thomas, were battered by the Lions' swarming defense.

"We knew that it was going to be a physical two weeks," said Oxon Hill Coach Cliff Haskins, whose team beat High Point, 8-0, last week. "But it's always hard playing Largo. We haven't been hit that hard; High Point didn't even hit us that hard."

"The game {against High Point} took a lot out of us and then the heat came out in this game," said Thomas. "But we knew that we had to suck it up. I have to give a lot of credit to Largo because they have a nice defense."

Oxon Hill came up with the big defensive plays. Thomas had two of the four interceptions off Kenny Martin (six of 23, 80 yards).

Leading, 7-6, midway through the second quarter, Oxon Hill stopped Largo at the 3-yard line. Ronald Dixon then blocked Karry Brown's 20-yard field goal attempt.

"Our kids tried hard, but we just lost. We didn't execute when we needed to," said Largo Coach Rocco Romeo. "We had the ball down close and we didn't score. Our special teams let us down today, but it's a team effort, so you don't blame one group of kids."

Oxon Hill made both of its touchdowns seem easy. Three plays and 1:20 into the game, Thomas lofted a 30-yard scoring pass to Randy Carter. And on the Clippers' first possession of the third quarter, McCain -- held to minus-4 yards in the first half -- sprinted down the sideline for a 42-yard score and 13-6 Oxon Hill lead. That was all it took.