E.A. Sports Today

Jackets romp

Oxford returns to the field showing no ill effects from its first loss and open week, put up 57 points, nearly 500 yards of offense

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

BIRMINGHAM – The effects of the loss to Pinson Valley are over.

Oxford had had two weeks to think about that first setback of the season and it looks like the Yellow Jackets learned a lot from it. They returned to the field Friday night and smoked the Huffman Vikings 57-6.

“We are in the toughest region in the state and the people we have to beat are in our region,” Oxford head coach Ryan Herring said. “We have to be ready for the next three weeks as we see these teams and try to figure out how we can get to their level. I thought we came out and executed real well and played with great intensity.”

Sophomore quarterback Trey Higgins was brilliant in the first half as he connected on all 13 of his pass attempts for 208 yards and two touchdowns as well as rushing for one touchdown.

“It was just good to get back on the field and get some points on the board,” Higgins said. “We got some things cleaned up. We just got to keep pounding and pounding each play and keep going.”

Sophomore receiver Rock Taylor caught one touchdown pass and had six catches for 95 yards in the game; he had another 70-yard touchdown catch called back due to a penalty. Junior Zay Britt had his best game of the year with five catches for 77 yards and one score.

Running back Tyetus Smith-Lindsey had 95 yards on 13 carries and a pair of touchdowns in the first half, then added a 32 yard run on the first play of the second half to end the night with 127 yards on 14 carries. He now has 789 yards on 100 carries this season.

“We had a tough loss, but we had some really good practices the last two weeks,” Smith-Lindsey said. “The coaches got us ready. We were determined and ready to go.”

Fullback Jonovan Carlisle had a 16-yard touchdown run and 20-yard reception out of the backfield.

Denico Tanner blocked a punt to get Oxford a safety and Jordan Booker picked up 43 yards in the second half and a touchdown.

Notes from the Huddle

GAME CHANGING PLAY: On their first series the Jackets fumble the ball and gave Huffman the ball at the Oxford 15. The defense held on downs at the 7 and that was it. The Jackets scored on their next 7 possessions before turning it over to the reserves.

OXFORD OFFENSIVE LINE: It looked like Clay Webb was back at tackle and the offense had over 200 yards rushing and passing for the second time this season. On the Jackets’ final drive of the game, all the linemen were put in as running backs and got to carry the ball. It was enjoyed by all.

“I have been promising the line some touches and it was time to give them some,” Herring said. “They all had a lot of fun.”

OXFORD DEFENSIVE LINE: The line held the Vikings’ runners to just 29 yards on 21 carries. For the year opponents have only 329 rushing yards on 172 attempts, less than 2 yards a carry.

OXFORD SECONDARY: The secondary missed a couple of interception opportunities, but only allowed some 73 yards before sitting down for the game in the third quarter.

OXFORD SPECIAL TEAMS: The opening kickoff was returned to the 38 as somebody stepped out of their lane to allow a cutback and some running room; this happened four more times in the game. Kicker Andrew Warhurst is getting his kicks deeper and deeper and got one in the end zone for a touchback. Misael Reyes missed two extra points and needs to get a little more consistent, but he is getting plenty of work.

NEXT WEEK: The Jackets will be home to host a very dangerous Shades Valley team. The Mounties have four losses but they are against teams that have a combined record of 23-3 and are all ranked in the Top Ten in their class … The last meeting of these two teams came in 2011 (a 66-20 Oxford win) … The Vikings will be in the middle of a four-game stretch that includes Hewitt-Trussville, Pinson Valley and Clay-Chalkville.

RANDOM NOTES: The Jackets are now 8-1 all-time against the Vikings … Huffman has never had a losing decade, but at 28-59 in the 20-teens that record will go away … Huffman’s 2018 opponents had a record of 41-16 entering Friday’s game, one of the toughest schedules in the state. The Vikings’ last five opponents were 25-5 entering Friday … Oxford’s win was its 12th straight regular-season road victory … The last two weeks were the first time that the Yellow Jackets have had to practice after a loss since 2015 … The win was Herring’s 45th at Oxford, fifth on the school’s all-time list.

A PERSONAL NOTE: In case you have not been to Huffman lately, it is a new high school of about five years. The Vikings have a nice artificial surface and can play home games at their own high school.

The people were really great and the press box was well set up, even had some air conditioning, which was great on a hot fall night. They even sent up some food. Still had fun going through the metal detector. Went through it the first time and passed, but forgot I’d left a nail in my pocket so I told them it should have went off. They figured out that the detectors had not been plugged in. I did my part for security.

Oxford 57, Huffman 6
Team stats Oxf Huff

First Downs 24 7
Rushes-yds 42-275 21-29
Passes 13-13-0 9-20-0
Passing yds 208 104
Fumbles lost 1 2
Punts-avg 1-37.0 5-29.0
Penalties-yds 7-70 10-98

Scoring summary
Oxford 14 28 9 6 – 57
Huffman 0 0 0 6 – 6

O – Trey Higgins 9 run (kick failed), 4:20 1Q
O – Rock Taylor 23 pass from Trey Higgins (Zay Britt pass from Trey Higgins), 1:33 1Q
O – Jonovan Carlisle 16 run (Misael Reyes kick), 10:59 2Q
O – Zay Britt 24 pass from Trey Higgins (Misael Reyes kick), 9:26 2Q
O – Tyetus Smith-Lindsey 4 run (Miseal Reyes kick), 4:55 2Q
O – Tyetus Smith-Lindsey 2 run (Misael Reyes kick), 0:15 2Q
O – Tyetus Smith-Lindsey 32 run (Misael Reyes kick), 11:44 3Q
O – Safety, Denico Tanner blocked punt out of end zone, 7:05 3Q
O – Jordan Booker 7 run (Misael Reyes kick), 11:01 4Q
H – Demario Bimbo 3 pass from Justice Christian (run failed), 5:40 4Q

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