E.A. Sports Today

Looking around

Take a look back at another dominant showing by Oxford and a look forward to the Randolph County team playing Piedmont this week

This week’s games
Anniston at Cherokee County
Boaz at Alexandria
Clay Central at Eufaula
Cleburne County at Valley
Cullman at Oxford
Donoho at Winterboro
Hokes Bluff at Jacksonville
Lincoln at Talladega
Munford at Holtville
Ohatchee at Pleasant Valley
Piedmont at Randolph County
Saks at White Plains
Wellborn at Weaver
OPEN: Glencoe

EDITOR’S NOTE: A technical issue prevented the Oxford-Brewer report from making the website Friday night; here is an abridged version of the story.

By East Alabama Sports Today

SOMERVILLE – The Oxford Yellow Jackets put together another impressive overall performance Friday night and beat A.P. Brewer 42-7.

It was their 13th straight regular-season victory and seventh straight in Class 6A Region 7.

The Jackets (3-0), eighth overall in this week’s MaxPreps statewide ranking and third in Class 6A, jumped out to a 42-0 halftime lead and then the second unit played a shortened second half with the clock not stopping other than a heat timeout.

Oxford scored its first touchdown on a 34-yard pass from Abe Peoples to Braden Higgins, overcoming two holding penalties in the drive. The Jackets overcame another holding penalty in their next scoring drive, which Tyetus Smith-Lindsey capped with a one-yard plunge.

The defense set up the Jackets’ next three scores. Brody Syer returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown, Smith-Lindsey scored on a 6-yard run after the Jackets sacked the Patriots’ punter at the 10 and Trey Higgins threw a touchdown pass to Antwon Feagans after an Asante Ferrell interception.

Smith-Lindsey gave the Jackets a 42-0 lead with his third touchdown on a brilliant 15-yard run. He finished with 79 yards on 11 carries. Richard Cantrell rushed for 73 yards on seven carries and caught a couple passes.

Brewer’s score came on the last play of the game. The Oxford defense only allowed one first down in the first half – on a 13-yard run in the final minute — and eight total yards. It was holding the Patriots to negative yardage for the game until the Patriots’ final 56-yard drive against the second unit.

Smith ended up with 79 yards on 11 carries and Richard Cantrell picked up 43 yards on 7 carries and caught a couple of passes.

“I was pleased with our defense,” Oxford coach Ryan Herring said. “They really played great.”

The Jackets play undefeated Cullman at home Friday. Both teams are 3-0. Cullman is No. 19 among Class 6A teams in the MaxPreps statewide rankings.

“We are blessed to be where we are at,” said Herring.

TIGERS ON THE RISE: Randolph County may have been the surprise team last year in Class 3A Region 5 moving up from Class 2A, but the Tigers aren’t sneaking up on anybody anymore.

This year’s Tigers have a chance to include their own chapter in the storied RC athletic history book.

They took a convincing step forward last week with a 42-6 victory over Ohatchee on the Creekbank. They can take a giant leap if they take down Piedmont Friday night on the turf that was christened in 2016 honoring former Tigers head coach Ron Watters.

It’s a 1-vs-2 game according to the MaxPreps Class 3A rankings, with the Tigers No. 1.

“This is a tough region,” Randolph County coach Pat Prestridge said. “I guess we come from a region that’s very tough, too, over the years. We used to be in Class 2A (Region) 5 — it used to be us, Lineville, Clay County, Woodland, Ranburne — so we know the talent that is every week.

“This is probably the toughest (3A) region in the North. Everybody’s great, everybody’s good, it doesn’t matter how young they are. Playing Ohatchee, then playing Piedmont next week, it’ll be a challenge. But we like that challenge. Our guys get up for that.”

Often we hear old-school coaches say “It’s not about the X’s and O’s, it’s about the Jimmys and Joes.” True. But, if you’ve got some really great guys working the alphabet then you’re likely to be at the top of your class.

Current Wadley coach Larry Strain was a player on Watters’ first Tigers team in 1979 that lost the state championship game on Friday night’s turf to Stevenson 9-0. Also, on that stellar squad was JSU Hall of Famer Alvin Wright, who went on on to play several seasons in the NFL with the Los Angles Rams.

Current Tigers’ coach Pat Prestridge was an all-state QB who played for Watters, whose coaching tree also includes Clay County coaching legends Danny Horn and Steve Giddens (now on Prestridge’s staff). And the staff Prestridge put together with the Tigers are all Randolph County guys who have tasted success from their playing days.

Last year the Tigers had three losses. One was to state champion Piedmont and the other two to Ohatchee, a fact that burned deep going into last week’s game.

They’re fundamental, multi-dimensional and very talented. And because they’re junior-laden, they are capable of reaching the finals this year and next (even if next year it’s back as a 2A entry).

If a changing of the guard is coming, it just might happen Friday night in Wedowee.

“I don’t know if it’s a changing of the guard,” Ohatchee coach Scott Martin said. “They’re the football team that was picked by some people to win the region. They’re the team that had 18 starters coming back. If you’re going to pick preseason favorites, they were picked as preseason favorites. I think they’re living up to their potential.

“Changing of the guard? I don’t know if the guard ever really changed. Until somebody knocks Piedmont off, I’m thinking those guys are going to have to be there.”

[table id=59 /]

Brewer 0 0 0 7 — 7
Oxford 14 28 0 0 — 42

O – Caden Higgins 34 pass from Abe Peoples (Zane Barbaro kick), 7:10 1Q
O – Tyetus Smith-Lindsey 1 run (Zane Barbaro kick) 0:33 1Q
O – Brody Syer 34 fumble return (Zane Barbaro kick), 8:38 2Q
O – Tyetus Smith-Lindsey 6 run (Zane Barbaro kick), 5:26 2Q
O – Antwon Feagans 31 pass from Trey Higgins 31 yard pass (Zane Barbaro kick), 5:16 2Q
O – Tyetus Smith-Lindsey 16 run (Zane Barbaro kick) 1:14 2Q
B – Zach Self 11 run (Caleb Gullion kick) 0:00, 4Q

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