ALABASTER, Alabama -- In the battle of the state champions (6A) Oxford and (7A) Thompson, the Thompson offense had a big night scoring eight touchdowns in the game as they go on to win 56-34 the Go Gold Bowl benefiting Children's Hospital of Alabama. Thompson went up 21-0 late in the first quarter and never looked back.
Thompson quarterback Connor Harrell in his first start of his career had a real good game. "I was really happy for Connor, he made a couple of mistakes but he made some good plays," said Warriors Head coach Mark Freeman. "I think our kids intensity was great. We played a good team and we have a long way to go. We gave up to many big plays on defense and we can't have that happening. Harrell completed 18-of-25 passing for 269 yards and three touchdowns along with 35 yards on 9 carries and two touchdowns. Not a bad night for the junior quarterback.
Thompson (1-0) score first and often in the game. With 9:05 left in the first quarter, Jarrett Crockett scored on an 8-yard touchdown run. With the score, Thompson led 7-0. With 3:34 left in the first quarter, Harrell hit Tre Roberson on a 28-yard touchdown play and the Warriors led 14-0. With 1:00 left in the first quarter, Harrell had a 9-yard touchdown run with a good spin at the goal line and Thompson led 21-0. Three straight touchdowns for Thompson and three no scoring drives for Oxford.
That changed for Oxford in the second quarter. With 11:14 left in the second quarter, Trey Higgins found a streaking Roc Taylor on a 49-yard pass play for the Yellow Jackets. The extra point was missed and the Warriors lead was cut to 21-6. Thompson came right back to score on their possession, when Harrell hit Jarrett Crockett on a 31-yard touchdown pass play. A diving Crockett in the end zone gave Thompson the score and a 28-6 lead with 6:58 left in the half.
Oxford (0-1) cut the Thompson lead again when Higgins went back to Taylor again on a 14-yard touchdown pass play and the Warriors lead was down to 28-14. Rodricus Elston scored on the 2-point conversion and with 4:10 left in the half, Thompson led 28-14. Thompson was not done scoring though as in five plays later and 80-yards, the Warriors scored on a Jarrett Crockett 18-yard run and Thompson led 35-14 with 2:04 left in the half.
Oxford came right back and with only :31 seconds until halftime, the Yellow Jackets scored on a Higgins to BaKari Dailey 11-yard touchdown pass play. Oxford only trailed 35-21 but after a Ryan Peppins long kickoff return and a Peppins reception to the Oxford 8 yard line, Crockett scored again on an 8-yard touchdown run and Thompson led 42-21 at the half. That drive was a back breaker for Oxford. "Jarrett has had a really good off season," said Freeman. "He has done a great job in the weight room and on the field. We have two good running backs with Jarrett and Brandon Frankllin. We played Jarrett a little more because of if they missed him on the line we thought he was going to get big gaines." Crockett had 132 yards on 17 carries and four touchdowns.
In the second half, both teams continued to score. Oxford scored with 6:50 left in the third quarter on a Higgins to Dailey connection of 13-yards for the score. Dailey made a great cut to get into the end zone for the touchdown. WIth the score, the Warriors lead was cut to 42-28. No problem for the Thompson offense. Harrell rushed for a 7-yard touchdown run up the middle and Thompson went up 49-28 with 3:23 left in the third quarter.
With 5:01 left in the game, Harrell found JB Mitchell in the corner of the end zone for a Warriors touchdown. WIth the score, Thompson led 56-28. Oxford came right back and scored with 4:31 left in the game on a Higgins 81-yard run for the Yellow Jackets. Thompson led 56-34. The last four minutes was in a driving rain storm and that was the only way to slow down both offenses as no team scored during the rain storm. "Trey is a winner and a true leader," said Yellow Jackets Head coach Keith Etheredge. "He played great and still was not satisfield because we did not win. Trey is the ultimate competitor."
Higgins completed 12-of-20 passing for 201 yards and a touchdown with 201 yards on 14 carries and four touchdowns. "Trey is such a good quarterback and what a competitor," added Freeman. "He reminds me of Tyler Johnston kid I had a Spanish Fort. He puts his team on his back and says let's go. Great quarterback." Taylor had three catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
Next up for both teams, Oxford travels to Pleasant Grove and Thompson goes to North Huntsville to play Sparkman.