E.A. Sports Today

Gamble, Borrelli help Oxford to playoff berth

‘Big Man’ goes for 300 yards, 4 touchdowns; sophomore kicker nails game-sealing field goal

By East Alabama Sports Today

CHELSEA – They call Tre Gamble “Big Man” for a reason.

Big players make big plays in big games and Gamble made a bunch of them Friday.

The recent Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game selection rushed for 303 yards and four touchdowns to lead Oxford to a 31-21 win over Chelsea that clinched third place in Class 6A Region 3 and a playoff berth.

“For these kids to have battled this way against the teams we have played this year just says a lot about them,” Jackets coach Ryan Herring said. “We were 1-2 at one point and not sure we could even when another game, but they have worked so hard.”

Gamble scored on runs of 6, 19, 17 and 4 yards. He now has 1,019 yards rushing, 715 receiving and 22 total touchdowns.

“I think he is turning into a pretty good running back,” said Herring, who moved the senior he once called the best receiver in the state to the backfield midway through the season. “He was huge out there tonight.”

Especially in the fourth quarter when he carried 11 straight times for 45 yards to help run six minutes off the clock and set up sophomore kicker Keaton Borrelli’s game-sealing 20-yard field goal with 3:27 to play.

“It reminded me of the ’85 Iron Bowl; it was awesome,” Herring said of the three-pointer. “You don’t get a whole lot of chances to make kicks like that (but) he came in and sealed the win. I can’t say enough about Keaton. It says a whole lot about the sacrifices he made to be a good kicker.”

Borrelli has been better than good. He has hit all 33 of his kicking attempts this season.

”I was excited and the ball felt good coming off my foot,” he said. “The snap was good and the line has blocked well all year long. I am just excited to be able to help this football team.”

Actually, it was a come from behind win for the Jackets (5-4, 3-3). Chelsea (5-4, 2-4) erased an early 7-0 Oxford lead with a 60-yard run by Mathew Marquet and, after the Jackets fumbled the ensuing kickoff, an 11-yard touchdown run by Anthony Jones.

It was 21-21 midway through the third quarter before Gamble’s fourth touchdown put the Jackets ahead for good.

Oxford’s defense made two big defensive plays to preserve the lead. K.J. Adams made a bone-jarring hit on Marquet at the 1 to keep the quarterback out of the end zone and Jacob Sears’ interception with a minute left ended a final threat.

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