Fort Payne visits Oxford in region finale

Fort Payne's Hayden Presley, right, puts up a hand to defend a pass by Pell City's Baylor Smith, center, during the first half of a Class 6A, Region 7 game at Fort Payne High School's Wildcat Stadium last Friday night.

As Fort Payne travels to Oxford for its Class 3A, Region 7 finale, the outcome will affect postseason seeding.

The Wildcats visit Oxford at Lamar Field at 7 p.m. Friday.

Fort Payne, Arab and Oxford all enter Friday’s games with 4-1 region records. If Fort Payne beats Oxford and Arab defeats Springville, the playoff seeding will be Arab No. 1, Fort Payne No. 2 and Oxford No. 3. An Oxford win and an Arab win will give Oxford the top seed, Arab No. 2 and Fort Payne No. 3. A Fort Payne win and an Arab loss will make Fort Payne No. 1, Oxford No. 2 and Arab No. 3.

The Yellow Jackets (5-3, 4-1 6A, Region 7) host Fort Payne with quarterback Samuel Robertson directing the offense.

He missed a few games earlier in the year when they struggled on offense,” Wildcats head coach Chris Elmore said of Robertson. “He is healthy and back now and is a difference maker for them each week. He can throw it and run it as well.”

Running back Jaydon Thomas, a sophomore, is another playmaker for Oxford, one who has shown improvement each week, Elmore said.

Miguel Mitchell, a wide receiver and a safety, brings a dynamic aspect to the field, making plays on both sides of the ball. 

Also contributing heavily to Oxford’s defense are outside linebacker Jordan Dobbins, and inside linebackers Michael Battle and Nick Merriweather.

“They both fit the run well on the inside and make a lot of tackles for them,” Elmore said of Battle and Merriweather.

The Yellow Jackets enter Friday with a two-game winning streak, defeating Arab 26-24 and Springville 26-17.

Meanwhile, Fort Payne (5-3, 4-1) notched its most successful offensive outing in last week’s 58-14 victory against Pell City.

Kaden Dubose ran for 221 yards and scored three touchdowns, and Alex Akins rushed for two scores behind 59 yards on the ground as the Wildcats extended their win streak to five games.

According to the Alabama High School Football Historical Society’s website, Oxford owns a 6-2-2 all-time record in games against Fort Payne. The Yellow Jackets have won the last four meetings.

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