Oxford edges Gadsden City 6-0
Fri. September 13, 2013 at 11:58 p.m. | By John Davidson Staff Writer
Gadsden City’s Gabe Ford tries to avoid the tackle of Oxford’s Dylan Sipplin during Friday night’s Class 6A, Region 7 game at Lamar Field in Oxford. (Photo by Dave Hyatt | Gadsden Times)
OXFORD — It was a hard-hitting defensive struggle, but Oxford scored the game’s only points to defeat Gadsden City at home 6-0 Friday in a matchup of Class 6A, Region 7 rivals.
Oxford’s Tredarian Gamble scored the game’s only points with a 49-yard touchdown reception.
He finished the game with 93 yards receiving.
With Titans’ senior quarterback Jay Copeland out with a concussion, junior Sloan Tyler started in his place and went 11 for 17 for 68 yards.
Titans’ coach Matt Scott said he was proud of the effort of both his quarterback and his defense, which held the Oxford attack to just 146 yards of total offense.
The Gadsden City offense started the game red-hot, gaining 107 yards of offense in the first quarter, led by a ground game anchored by junior Dante Rudolph. All the yards in the world didn’t matter, however, as the Titans were unable to capitalize on their gains, missing a 26-yard field goal and turning the ball over on downs after a fake punt came up one yard short.
The Titans’ defense was dominant in the first half, holding the Yellow Jackets to just 34 yards of offense in the first half and 8 yards on the ground. Oxford was able to move the chains only once before the break.
Oxford finally broke the scoreless tie midway through the third when Gamble caught a short pass from quarterback William Webber and found a seam, scampering all the way for the score. The Yellow Jackets missed the extra point attempt.
Gadsden City went 1-4 on fourth down. The one conversion came in the fourth quarter on a 14-yard screen pass from Tyler to Dazun Lindsey to help keep the drive alive.
That play set the Titans up on the Oxford 20. They were able to make it a little further but could not shake their fourth-down woes. The drive ended when a pass from Tyler was tipped at the line and landed behind its intended receiver.
The Titans had a chance to get the ball back, forcing the Yellow Jackets to go three and out.
Their last hope was extinguished, however, when back-to-back penalties for running into the punter gave Oxford a first down and the ran out the clock.
Scott was frustrated after the game about the running into the kicker calls. He said that on the second call, a five-yard penalty that gave Oxford its final first down, he believed one of his players got a hand on the ball.
He defended his aggressiveness on the punts.
“When you’re sitting on a zero in the fourth quarter, and they’re having major problems with the snap and with punts like they were,” Scott said. “We’re coming after those kicks.”
Gadsden City (1-2, 1-1 region) will host Albertville in another regional showdown while Oxford (1-2,1-1 region) hosts Huntsville.