FORT PAYNE — The Fort Payne Wildcats kept it close with the defending Class 6A state champs for a half, but Oxford’s explosive offense ignited in the second half.

Darrell Prater and J.D. Blalock each ran for a touchdown in Fort Payne’s 49-14 loss to the Yellow Jackets in the Class 6A, Region 7 championship game at Wildcat Stadium on Friday night.

The Wildcats (7-2, 5-1) finished as region runners-up and a No. 2 seed in the postseason. They will host a first-round state playoff game.

Oxford claimed the region championship and the No. 1 seed from Region 7, as quarterback Trey Higgins ran for three touchdowns and passed for two more.

Higgins threw a touchdown pass and ran for another to help the Yellow Jackets take a 14-7 halftime lead.

Prater punched in a 1-yard scoring run on fourth-and-goal to give the Wildcats the game’s first points with 4 minutes remaining in the opening quarter.

Oxford responded with a tying score 2 minutes later.

Higgins scrambled out of the pocket and sped along the right side for a 37-yard touchdown.

Both teams had trouble maintaining possession across a 2-minute stretch of the second quarter.

The Yellow Jackets recovered a Fort Payne fumble at Oxford’s 36-yard line, before a pass bounced off an intended receiver and into the hands of Fort Payne’s Jayden Dubose.

The bizarre sequence continued when a Fort Payne pass was batted into the air and intercepted at the 8:24 mark.

Oxford turned the pick into points when Higgins tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass for the go-ahead score with 4:41 left in the half.

Roc Taylor raced 35 yards to extend the Yellow Jackets’ advantage to 21-7 early in the third, before Fort Payne answered with a 1-yard scoring dive by Blalock on fourth-and-1 with 5:32 to play in the quarter.

Higgins capped Oxford’s ensuing drive with a 3-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 28-14 with 2:25 left in the third.

The Yellow Jackets added three more scores in the fourth, including one from a blocked field goal attempt returned for a touchdown.

The Wildcats visit North Jackson for their regular-season finale Friday.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.