#4 Oxford 34, #3 Pinson Valley 33 Final | Friday - September 20, 2019 | Class 6A, Region 6 game
WR #7 Davion Ball (Oxford) on an 84-yard touchdown reception versus Pinson Valley
PINSON, Alabama -- If this could go down in the ESPN classics, then we saw one tonight. Oxford trailing 19-0 after the first quarter, climbs their way back in the game in the second half and wins it on a tip-pass in the end zone to give Oxford a 34-33 win over Pinson Valley in a huge Class 6A, Region 6 win at Willie Adams Stadium on Friday night. With the Oxford win, it breaks a Pinson Valley 18-game region winning streak, a 15-game home winning streak and a 31-game 6A opponents winning streak.
"Two fantastic teams playing in this game. Our kids just wanted it so bad," said Yellow Jackets head coach Keith Etheredge. "We had guys playing hurt, we had guys doing everything they are supposed to do. We made some mistakes that we have to clean up but made the plays when we had to. So happy for the city of Oxford, for out school and for these great group of guys."
With Oxford trailing by six points with less than three minutes left in the game, Trey Higgins scrambled and threw the ball up for Roc Taylor that went off his hands and a Pinson Valley defender and into the hands of Miguel Mitchell being in the right spot at the right time. "I saw Trey roll out and he threw it up to Roc," said Yellow Jackets WR Mitchell. "It was two on one and I was looking to see if someone was going to tip it up. I was in the right place at the right time."
Pinson Valley raced out early in the game on a Kinji Christian 12-yard touchdown run to give the Indians an early lead of 6-0 with 6:32 left in the first quarter. The extra point was missed. Pinson Valley blocked an Oxford punt and Martiez Claughton jumped on the ball to setup the Indians first score.
With 3:30 left in the first quarter, Pinson Valley scores again on a Barry White to Keyonteze Johnson on an 8-yard touchdown pass play. The extra point was missed again, but the Indians led 12-0. With 1:30 left in the first quarter, Pinson Valley gets their third touchdown of the quarter on a White to Johnson 38-yard touchdown toss. The extra point was good by Chris Ruiz-Soto and the Indians led 19-0 after the first quarter.
After Pinson Valley scored those three first quarter touchdowns, Oxford had to make an adjustment going forward. "We went more zone and took our chances playing man," added Etheredge. "They have great receivers. We went zone and we just backed off and gave them the underneath stuff, but took away the long stuff."
Oxford found lightning in a bottle when Higgins hit Devion Bell on a slant and Bell raced 84-yards for a touchdown and the Yellow Jackets cut the lead to 19-7 with 7:53 left in the second quarter. That is how the game ended in the first half with Oxford trailing by 12 points. "We had to change it up a little bit and we didn't get down," said Yellow Jackets DB Xyon Satcher. "We still have more quarters to get to. I just telling my teammates to smile, this game is not over. We are coming back. I told them this is going to be the biggest comeback we have made together."
In the second half, Oxford started scoring due to five Pinson Valley turnovers. Defensive back Delvon Fegans had three interceptions on the night. He looked like the centerfielder that was just waiting for a flyball when the Yellow Jackets moved to zone defense.
With 7:27 left to go in the third quarter, Higgins found Taylor on a 22-yard touchdown pass in the end zone. The extra point was missed but Oxford cut the Indians lead to 19-13. With 6:22 left in the third quarter, Trequon Fegans scored on a 6-yard touchdown run and kicked the extra point and Oxford took a 20-19 lead midway through the third quarter. Oxford forced a turnover on the Pinson Valley next possession and with 5:27 left in the third quarter Higgins hit Taylor on another touchdown pass of 22-yards. With the score, Oxford had a 27-19 lead and it looked huge at the time since Pinson Valley hasn't scored since the end of the first quarter.
With 5:42 left in the fourth quarter, the Pinson Valley offense showed some life and scored on a Christian 3-yard touchdown run, his second of the game. The two-point conversion failed and Oxford hung to a 27-25 lead, but on the ensuwing kickoff Oxford fumbles the ball deep in their own territory. A few plays later, a White to Ga'Quincey McKinstry 23-yard touchdown pass play gave the Indians a 33-27 lead with 4:53 left in the game. McKinstry 2-point conversion reception gave the Indians a six point lead.
But Oxford had other plans. On the last Oxford scoring drive Zay Britt caught a long ball from Higgins that looked like it was out of bounce but called a catch by the referee on the sideline. That led to the winning score by the Yellow Jackets with only 2:20 left in the game. Pinson Valley drove down to the Oxford 25-yard line but held Pinson Valley on downs to get the win.
For the night, Higgins completed 16-of-24 passing for 283 yards and four touchdowns. "I saw a lot of heart and gut from our team and we didn't give up," said Yellow Jackets QB Higgins. "Do whatever it takes to put it into the end zone. This just another step in the journey but we still have a long ways to go."