OXFORD, Alabama -- The Oxford Yellow Jackets and the Racean Thomas show rolled all over Tuscaloosa County 50-22 on Lamar Field Friday night. Thomas was the main attraction as he rushed for 184 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns on the night.
Tuscaloosa County drove down the field on their opening drive but Thomas scored in the first, second and third quarters of the game for the Oxford express to roll throughout the game. "There is no better player in the state," Yellow Jackets Head coach talking about his all-state player Thomas. "Were very fortunate to have him. This is a great playoff win and our kids and they did a great job of staying focused. We played hard on both sides of the ball."
Tuscaloosa County (7-4) scored to open the game when quarterback Seth Franks hit Allen Cooks on a touchdown pass in the back corner of the end zone. Isaac Albaradei kicked the extra point for a 7-0 Wildcats lead.
After that early Tuscaloosa County lead, Oxford scored four touchdowns on their next four drives to open the game up and take all the momentum going into halftime. Thomas, an Auburn commitment, scored on a 38-yard run to tie the game at 7-7. The defense setup the Yellow Jackets offense when Octavious Davis picked off a Wildcats pass at midfield and returned it to the Tuscaloosa County nine yard line. After a couple of holding calls on a second and 20, Ty Webber threw to Desmon Owens for a touchdown and a 14-7 lead that Oxford would not give up.
Early in the second quarter, Tuscaloosa County tried a fake punt and was stopped on their own 45 yard line. A few plays later, Webber scores on a yard out for the touchdown. Tuscaloosa County drove down the field after the Yellow Jackets touchdown but missed on a 42-yard field goal. With 3:55 left in the half, Oxford scored again on a Thomas 6-yard touchdown run. A Webber to Tredarian Gamble 38-yard pass play was a key play for the touchdown drive and a 28-7 halftime lead.
On the second play of the second half for Tuscaloosa County, on a Wildcats fumble Devin Siplin scooped up the ball and rumbled 29 yards for an Oxford touchdown. "We were a little overmatched with some injuries but we fought hard," said Wildcats Head coach Lee Gibson. "We lost to a very good football team. We feel sorry for the seniors but we think our seniors did a great job of teaching our younger players how to compete and we had a great season on the whole."
Tuscaloosa County could have gave up after trailing 35-7 but came back with a score of their own. Franks hit Chase Pearson on a 5-yard touchdown pass to still give the Wildcats life. A 25-yard fake punt by Ja'Marion Sanders kept the scoring drive alive.
With 3:17 left in the third quarter, Thomas broke open a 35-yard touchdown run after a failed on side kick to midfield. "We had a lot of leadership with both sides of the ball," said Yellow Jackets RB Thomas. "The offensive line is getting better each week, we see it in practice and it carries over in our games. This was my first game of playing corner most of the game and I just need to get used to the position." Thomas lined up a cornerback on the defensive side of the ball and had a couple of tackles on special teams and defense.
In the fourth quarter, Derak Mahaffey recovered a fumble and raced 68 yards for a touchdown and to give the Yellow Jackets a 48-22 lead. Oxford defense scored on a safety on Tuscaloosa County's ensuing drive.
Up next for Oxford, the Yellow Jackets will travel to Madison County to face Bob Jones, the #1 seed from Region 8.