E.A. Sports Today

Hyped for homecoming

Oxford pulls away in second half to take down rival Pell City, making for a happy homecoming

By Reagan Payne
For East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – The Oxford Yellow Jackets looked like a brand-new team Friday night, winning 35-10 over region rivals Pell City at Lamar Field.

Jaden Dobbins started Oxford’s momentum with a solid short-pass catch, scoring the first touchdown of the game in the first quarter. It stayed that way until the third quarter, long after the Homecoming Queen was crowned.

Pell City snagged a 23-yard field goal by Saylor Richard in the third quarter, but the Yellow Jackets (3-2, 2-1) answered immediately with a 32-yard touchdown run by Damious Wilson.

The stadium went wild when Oxford sent a pooch kick bouncing down the field and recovered it deep in Pell City territory. No scoring plays were made on the following runs, as Oxford was able to punt a touchback on 4th down.

Pell City tried and tried to make an impressive pass play, but it just would not happen. The Panthers (1-3, 0-2) were shaken by it and fumbled deep in their own territory.

Sam Robertson used the field position for what it was worth and made a classic quarterback run for the final touchdown of the third quarter.

Baylor Smith was visibly worked up on the field, knowing his time to redeem the team was running out. He fired a 34-yard pass to Caleb Groce for Pell City’s final scoring play.

Oxford quickly answered with two touchdowns before the game was done. Miguel Mitchell ran in the first one 52 yards, running Oxford’s lead to 28-10. Then in the closing minutes Robertson ran Nick Merriweather and Merriweather pushed through Pell City uniforms until he scored the final touchdown of the game.

The Yellow Jackets started and finished with enough momentum to secure their biggest win of the season. Music blared and lights flashed in the make-shift locker room inside the Oxford Stadium. 

Jackets head coach Sam Adams found his way out of the celebration with the help of a young fan, Chance Bailey.

“We’re on an upward trajectory,” Adams said. “We just have to build off the momentum we’ve got. Every win is an absolutely huge win. The rivalry part adds something to it. Homecoming, if anything, makes it more difficult with all the things going on around the game.

“I’m so proud of the guys that we have. We have 11 seniors that have kind of been through the wringer in a lot of different ways. They’ve done nothing but continue to charge forward and put everything else aside. We have the five or six freshmen that started tonight, eighth graders started at night. I’ve never been prouder of a bunch than I am with this group.”

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