E.A. Sports Today

Roundup: Valley rally stings Oxford

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — The Oxford Yellow Jackets put together an impressive Class 6A region opener Friday night with an impressive win over an unbeaten Valley Rams team that came in not having allowed a touchdown in regulation all season.

Oh! Wait a minute. That was what the headline was going to read, but Valley’s Matravious Williams had other ideas as he led his team to a 22-point fourth quarter rally and then stopped the Yellow Jackets at the 2 in the final 15 seconds to win 25-21 at Lamar Field Friday night.

It was the second week in a row the Yellow Jackets (1-2) took a lead into the fourth quarter and lost. Last week Gadsden City scored 21 points in the fourth to erase a 28-27 Oxford lead.

On this night the Jackets led 21-3 after three quarters behind three Ty Webber touchdown passes and had knocked the Valley quarterback out of the game.

Williams took over and, running out of the Wildcat formation, ran 20 times for 162 yards in the last quarter and a half and scored three touchdowns in a courageous performance. He scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:29 to go in the fourth quarter.

Oxford had Tre Gamble’s 40-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter called back by a penalty. But the Jackets stormed down the field on passes from Webber to Jacob Cook and Gamble. They were stopped at the 2 on a fourth down play with 11 seconds left.

It was all Oxford in the first half. Valley did grab an early 3-0 lead, then the Yellow Jackets roared back with two long drives that were capped by 14-yard Webber touchdown passes to Gamble and Cook.

Three plays after K.J. Adams blocked a punt in the second quarter, Webber hit Gamble on a leaping 20-yard touchdown catch. Gamble had seven catches for 108 yards in the game. Keaton Borelli kicked all three extra points.

Here are other games reported to East Alabama Sports Today Friday. If you don’t see your favorite Calhoun County team’s game included, encourage your team’s coaches or statisticians to contact the website at musky@wrightmediacorp.com:

Friday’s scores

Mortimer Jordan 37, Anniston 8
Alexandria 28, Hayden 0
Donoho 20, Talladega County Central 0
Jacksonville 49, Crossville 12
Woodville 51, Jacksonville Christian 21
Westbrook Christian 20, Ohatchee 6
Valley 25, Oxford 21
Piedmont 46, Ashville 6
Pleasant Valley 22, Weaver 12
Saks 34, Sardis 7
Glencoe 27, Wellborn 26
Hokes Bluff 35, White Plains 7

This week’s games

Hayden at Anniston
Lincoln at Alexandria
Shades Mountain Christian at Donoho
Jacksonville at Sardis
Coosa Christian at Jacksonville Christian
Ohatchee at Piedmont
Oxford at Chilton County
Pleasant Valley at Wellborn
Saks at Cherokee County
Ashville at Weaver
White Plains at Cleburne County

Jacksonville 49, Crossville 12: The Golden Eagles ran only 19 offensive plays, but made the most of them – and had an opportunistic defense – in improving to 3-0 for the third year in a row under coach Clint Smith.

Quen Veasley delighted the Homecoming crowd by throwing two touchdown passes and ran for another score, Tae Ackles broke off a 70-yard touchdown run and the Golden Eagles scored three defensive touchdowns.

Veasley threw scoring strikes of 22 yards to J.J. Johnson and 55 yards to Sid Thurmond and had a 37-yard touchdown run. Tyler Carter had a 38-yard interception return for a score, Evan Shook returned a fumble 20 yards for a score and NieDale Archie recovered a fumble in the end zone for another score.

With No. 9 Munford losing top-ranked Leeds, there is a chance the Golden Eagles could be ranked this week for the first time since the final Class 5A poll in 1999. They have been ranked only 13 times in school history.

“A lot of people talk about what we’re building,” Smith said earlier in the week. “I think (his players) want to show they can do as well as last year’s team. I think they’re excited about every time they get a chance to play.”

Donoho 20, Talladega County Central 0: Justin Foster returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and scored twice more from scrimmage as the Falcons improved to 2-0 with a shot to break into the 1A Top 10 this week for the first time since 2007.

Foster finished with 66 yards on 12 carries. Ben Myrick led the rushing attack with 120 yards on 19 carries.

Samuel Garner led a defense that posted its second straight shutout with nine tackles. Parker Morgan had seven. Foster and Axis Heathcock had five each.

Donoho 13 0 0 7 – 20
TCC 0 0 0 0 — 0

D – Justin Foster 85 kickoff return (kick failed)
D – Foster 2 run (Buckner kick)
D – Foster 66 run (Buckner kick)

14 1st Downs 5
44-212 Rush-yds 19-121
4-8-0 C-A-I 5-17-0
50 Pass yds 33
2-1 Fumbles-Lost 1-1
4-31.5 Punts-avg 4-36.5
4-20 Penalties-yds 6-50

Alexandria 28, Hayden 0: Keenan Woodruff rushed for 107 yards and Alton Davis ran for three scores as the Valley Cubs bounced back from their season-opening loss in style.

The Cubs, who had a week off after losing to Jacksonville in their opener, erupted for 22 points in the first quarter. They held their hosts to 79 total net yards in posting their first shutout since Sept. 25, 2009 (Wellborn 21-0).

Alexandria 22 0 6 0 — 28
Hayden 0 0 0 0 — 0

Alex Hay
14 1st Downs 9
265 Rushing yds 55
2-5-0 C-A-I N/A
8 Pass yds 24
3-39.3 Punts-avg N/A
9-90 Penalties-yds N/A

Hokes Bluff 35, White Plains 7: Camron Dowdy ran for three touchdowns and Phillip Ward returned two second-half punts for scores to thwart the Wildcats’ bid for coach Larry Strain’s first victory.

Caleb Turner’s 16-yard touchdown run late in the second half cut White Plains’ halftime deficit to 14-7. It capped a 66-yard drive that included an 11-yard catch by Ryan Hanson and a 14-yard grab by Nathan Gilbert.

Despite Turner’s scoring run, the Wildcats were held to negative net rushing yardage, largely the result of bad snaps and fumbles.

“I thought we played well defensive early, until those two punt returns broke our backs,” Strain said.

White Plains 0 7 0 0 — 7
Hokes Bluff 7 7 14 7 — 35

HB – Camron Dowdy 11 run (PAT kick)
HB – Dowdy 2 run (PAT kick)
WP – Caleb Turner 16 run (Drew Hudson kick)
HB – Phillip Ward 69 punt return (PAT kick)
HB – Ward 50 punt return (PAT kick)
HB – Dowdy 6 run (PAT kick)

Westbrook Christian 20, Ohatchee 6: The Indians fumbled the opening kickoff that led to a touchdown 18 seconds into the game and could never recover. They did outgain Westbrook by 42 total yards, but couldn’t overcome five turnovers.

“We had three in our last game and were fortunate to still win it,” Ohatchee coach Scott Martin said. “It raised its ugly danged head again and this time it killed us.”

The Indians fell behind 13-0 before Coleman McCombs got them on the board with a 1-yard run in the second quarter. Coleman finished with 35 yards rushing. Austin Tucker was Ohatchee’s leading rusher with 95 yards on 22 carries.

Westbrook Chr. 7 6 0 7 — 20
Ohatchee 0 6 0 0 — 6

WC – Christenberry 23 pass (PAT kick)
WC – Richards 24 pass (run failed)
O – Coleman McCombs 1 run (kick failed)
WC – Glassford 22 run (PAT kick)

WC Ohat
14 1st Downs 15
44-124 Rush-yds 31-110
8-20-2 C-A-I 10-23-0
128 Pass yds 100
3-3 Fum-Lost 0-0
4-21.8 Punts-avg 6-37.0
5-35 Penalties-yds 13-95

Mortimer Jordan 37, Anniston 8: Quarterback Quintavious Dobbins accounted for 173 yards of Anniston offense, but the Bulldogs just didn’t have an answer for Landon Smith.

Smith scored four touchdowns in the first half as the Blue Devils opened a 30-0 lead. He scored on runs of 8, 58 and 8 yards and caught a 55-yard pass from William Hodges.

Lemuel Heard finally found the end zone for the Bulldogs on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter

Dobbins completed 10 of 19 passes for 110 yards and rushed for 63 yards on 11 carries. Tae Miller caught seven passes for 96 yards.

Anniston 0 0 0 8 – 8
Mortimer Jordan 24 6 7 0 — 37

MJ – Landon Smith 8 run (Zachary Thrift run)
MJ – Smith 58 run (Jonathan Finney run)
MJ – Smith 55 pass from William Hodges (Hodges pass)
MJ – Smith 8 run (PAT failed)
MJ – Hodges 12 run (PAT kick)
A – Lemuel Heard 1 run (Edward Montgomery catch)

Saks 34, Sardis 7: Calvin Figueroa scored two touchdowns and his backfield running mates Devin Harris and Demetrius Powell each had a rushing touchdown as the fourth-ranked Wildcats extended their regular-season winning streak to 14 games. Darion Coleman scored their other touchdown on a 55-yard catch.

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