E.A. Sports Today

Broad shoulders

Oxford quarterback Higgins carrying the offense while vital weapons are on the mend

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today
IRONDALE – Oxford quarterback Trey Higgins is having to carry the offense for the Oxford Yellow Jackets as they’re down two running back and a receiver due to injury. He had lineman go down early in the first half, but through it all he has responded.
Higgins hit six or seven passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the first half Friday night as third-ranked Oxford bolted out to a 24-7 halftime lead that propelled it to a 38-20 win over Shades Valley on the Mounties’ Senior Night.
Oxford’s first team offense only had the ball for 33 plays and Higgins was involved in 25 of them (13 passes, 12 runs).
“Trey is doing it all for us right now,” Oxford coach Keith Etheredge said. “We have lost our first two running backs and he is running the ball and passing the ball and playing very well.”
Higgins was brilliant in picking apart the Mounties’ defense, firing two touchdown passes to Rock Taylor of 36 and 28 yards. He added 67 yards rushing on nine carries in that first half as Oxford (7-0, 4-0) took a 24-7 halftime lead.

The Jackets’ defense was playing well as they picked up a score on Trequon Fegans’ 30-yard scoop-and-score on Shades Valley’s first play from scrimmage. The Mounties had only 33 yards of offense in the first half, most of it coming from one small drive. Their only score of the half came after Higgins fumbled at his own 3.
It was the special teams that got the next score for Oxford as Delvon Fegans picked up a fumble on a Mountie punt return and returned it down the sidelines 45 yards for a touchdown.Britt scored the second touchdown of the quarter on a 42-yard pass from Higgins with a diving catch in the corner of the end zone.

The Mounties (2-6, 1-3) took advantage of the Oxford reserves by adding two late touchdowns in the fourth quarter, one on a short drive and the other on a blocked punt recovered in the end zone.

“We took control early with JB Carlisle out and then Keeshon Siaosi went down with a high ankle sprain,” Etheredge said. “Some of our young guys got a little sloppy at the end of the game.”

It was a home game of sorts for Etheredge, as he coached at nearby Leeds for many years.
”It felt good to be back around here,” he said. “A lot of good memories living in this area and I love being back here and seeing old friends.”
Higgins finished the game with 197 yards passing and rushed for 62 yards to account for 259 yards of offense.
“I was just trying to do what I got to do to help the team win,” he said. “We have to clean some things up, but our receivers had a great game.”

Taylor caught three passes for 98 yards and two scores and had one rush for 14 yards.
“It was fun out there,” Taylor said. “Trey put it where I could get it and I just caught it and took off running.”
Britt had five catches for 69 yards. Trequon Fegans came over from the defensive side to run the ball for a few plays and gained 51 yards on just four carries. 
Oxford returns home next week to face nemesis Clay-Chalkville (5-2) in a key Region 6 match up. The Yellow Jackets have lost six straight to the Cougars and due to scheduling quirks five of those games have been on the road.

Oxford (38)SV (20)
121st Down9

Oxford                      17  7 14   0   –  38
Shades Valley            0  7   0  13  – 20
Scoring Plays
O – Andrew Warhurst 30 FG, 7:37 1Q
O – Trequon Fegans 30 fumble return (Andrew Warhurst kick), 7:22 1Q
O – Rock Taylor 36 pass from Trey Higgins (Andrew Warhurst kick), 1:00 1Q
SV –Noah Freeman 3 run (Braxton Smith kick), 6:10 2Q
O – Rock Taylor 28 pass from Trey Higgins (Andrew Warhurst kick), 3:06 2Q
O – Delvon Fegans 45 fumble return (Andrew Warhurst kick), 7:34 3Q
O – Zay Britt 42 pass from Trey Higgins (Andrew Warhurst kick), 4:56 3Q
SV – Dre Olds 8 run (Braxton Smith kick), 3:41 4Q
SV – Isiah Sims recovers blocked punt in end zone (run fails), 1:02 4Q

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