Oxford falls to acquainted demon, however nonetheless has likelihood to win its area championship
By means of Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports activities Lately
OXFORD – Clay-Chalkville has been a thorn in Oxford’s facet for the previous couple years and the Cougars had been once more Friday night time.
The Cougars rallied for 19 immediately issues in the second one part after which hung directly to nip the Yellow Jackets 26-21 at Lamar Box.
Trailing 7-Zero on the part, Oxford got here out blazing in the second one part and punched in two touchdowns on an 8-yard Trey Higgins move to Jaylen Swain and a 41-yard Higgins strike to Rock Taylor.
It was once then that the wheels started to come back off for Jackets (7-1, 4-1). The Cougars drove it 70 yards for a rating and had been aided through 45 yards in consequences that didn’t please the Oxford house crowd in any respect.
The Jackets imploded at the subsequent ownership as Taylor, who stuck 10 passes for 135 yards and two rankings, simply had the ball pop up out of his palms into the air and Cougars’ defender Cameron Grady grabbed it and was once tackled on the Oxford 14. Two performs later quarterback Damione Ward dover in from the two for his 2nd landing of the sport.
After a box function and a security on a foul snap on a punt the Cougars had been up 26-14. With 6 mins to head within the sport the Jackets fought again with a snappy rating as Higgins discovered Taylor on the function line on an 18-yard slant to chop the margin to 26-21.
Oxford compelled a 3 and out and had one final shot, however a fourth down move was once knocked down on the 10 and the Cougars had been celebrating.
“Wow, what a sport,” Cougars trainer William Gilmer mentioned. “We knew if shall we do away with the massive play and stay their receivers from getting at the back of us, we’d have a possibility.
“We had some avid gamers injured early within the season that harm us, however they’re again now and we sit up for the playoffs. Oxford is a smart soccer crew and we had been looking to cause them to have to position in combination lengthy drives to overcome us. The extra performs in a force manner there was once extra probabilities to make errors and we had been ready to capitalize.”
The Cougars (6-2, 3-2) had been doing such things as this to Oxford for 3 seasons and ven trainer Keith Etheredge mentioned this was once the crew the Jackets needed to get previous to take your next step of their building as a championship crew.
In 2017, the Cougars knocked an undefeated Oxford crew out of the playoffs within the 3rd spherical. Closing 12 months as area competitors they beat them two times, one once more coming within the 3rd spherical of the playoffs.
You knew it was once going to be a struggle and it was once within the first part. The Cougars put in combination a five-play, 68-yard scoring force on their first ownership through getting the ball briefly to the out of doors and making the Oxford protection unfold out.
The Oxford protection has yielded lower than a backyard a raise all season and Clay-Chalkville was once intent on now not making an attempt the center of that run protection. The Cougars most effective ran 5 operating performs all the part and just one was once up the center of the protection and it misplaced a backyard.
“They had been stacking the road, so we had to take a look at and benefit from what they had been giving us,” mentioned Gilmer.
Oxford made some changes after that opening force. Ward hit on his first 4 passes with the landing approaching a 26-yarder to Ed Osley. Ward would most effective attach on 4 of his subsequent 14 passes within the part for most effective 16 yards and one first down.
In the meantime, the Jackets had been being pissed off as 3 journeys deep into Cougars territory led to no issues. Higgins had a 40-yard run to the 10 referred to as again on a double penalty that stopped the hole force. Two extra drives had been killed through finish zone interceptions.
“The consequences had been killing us on this sport,” mentioned Oxford head trainer Keith Etheredge. “However we simply must tip our hats to them. They performed smartly and feature a excellent soccer crew. We nonetheless have to overcome Gardendale subsequent week to win the area, so the loss does now not in point of fact have an effect on us at the area championship. That may all be available in the market subsequent week.”
Any other large contest awaits the Yellow Jackets subsequent week as they host the Gardendale Rockets with the Area 6 name at the line and a house play-off sport within the first spherical. A win for Oxford would clinch the name and a loss would wish tie-breakers to decide the area champion.
|CC (26)||Oxford (21)|
Clay-Chalkville 7 0 14 5 – 26
Oxford 0 0 14 7 – 21
CC – Ed Osley 26 move from Damione Ward (Jaren Van Winkle kick), 7:22 1Q
O – Jaylan Swain Three move from Trey Higgins (Andrew Warhurst kick), 9:06 3Q
O – Rock Taylor 41 move from Trey Higgins (Andrew Warhurst kick), 6:08 3Q
CC – Damione Ward 1 run (Jaren Van Winkle kick), 3:04 3Q
CC – Damione Ward 2 run (Jaren Van Winkle kick), 2:05 3Q
CC – Jaren Van Winkle 32 FG, 11:14 4Q
CC – Protection, ball snapped out of finish zone, 9:02 4Q
O – Rock Taylor 18 move from Trey Higgins (Andrew Warhurst kick), 4:28 4Q
Pictures through B.J. Franklin
To peer extra B.J. Franklin footage from the sport, pass to this hyperlink: www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com