E.A. Sports Today

Oxford drops finale

Yellow Jackets had a chance to make playoffs, but they had to win to make the scenarios work

By East Alabama Sports Today

DECATUR — The Oxford Yellow Jackets went into their final regular-season game with a shot to make the playoffs, but had trouble with the run on both sides of the ball and saw its season end in a 35-14 loss to Decatur.

Several things had to happen for the Jackets to make it. Oak Mountain had to beat Pell City and Mountain Brook had to beat Huffman – both Friday games — but for any of it to matter the Yellow Jackets had to win.

They got off to a big start, with linebacker Kenney Britt returning a fumble recovery 30 yards for a touchdown on the second snap of the game.

“That was a huge play,” Oxford coach Ryan Herring said. “You start the game off with that and you’re feeling great.”

But those feelings soon turned as the Yellow Jackets lost two fumbles and Decatur (4-5) was building a 28-7 halftime lead.

“You’re happy to know if you win you’ve got a great shot at getting in,” Herring said. “As the game progressed we couldn’t run the ball effectively and didn’t stop the run consistently.”

Oxford’s offense did find the end zone in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter when Trey Franks scored on a 3-yard run. Franks rushed for 65 yards in the game.

Tyrie Buchanan ran for two touchdowns for Decatur and Tyrique Purvis caught two long touchdown catches.

The loss left the Yellow Jackets 3-7 for the season. It was their fewest wins in a season since 2007. The next year they started a run of four straight playoff appearances.

“This was the youngest team in the history of Oxford football,” Herring said, “but I’m proud of their effort through a tough schedule.”

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