Happening Now

Mims and Hampton’s Heroics Seal Oxford’s Thrilling Victory Over Pell City

Timely plays

Oxford, AL – Propst’s Panthers put Oxford on upset alert, but Mims, Hampton come through with clutch plays as Oxford mounts game-saving drive

Oxford students had a message for Pell City coach Rush Propst before Friday’s game on Lamar Field. (Photo by Joe Medley)
Oxford students had a message for Pell City coach Rush Propst before Friday’s game on Lamar Field. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Scoreboard

THURSDAY, Oct. 5
Winterboro 47, Donoho 6, FINAL
Sylvania 56, Glencoe 20, FINAL

FRIDAY, Oct. 6
St. Clair County 36, Alexandria 31, FINAL
Handley 39, Anniston 6, FINAL
Central-Clay 47, Valley 0, FINAL
Jacksonville 63, Cleburne County 14, FINAL
Hokes Bluff 28, Plainview 14, FINAL
Jax Christian 66, Success Academy 28, FINAL
Lincoln 29, Munford 17, FINAL
Geraldine 55, Ohatchee 6, FINAL
Oxford 28, Pell City 25, FINAL
Piedmont 35, Westbrook Christian 19, FINAL
Locust Fork 61, Pleasant Valley 6, FINAL
Vincent 33, Ranburne 20, FINAL
Randolph County 35, Saks 14, FINAL
Southside 23, Leeds 13, FINAL
Spring Garden 51, Talladega County Central 23, FINAL
White Plains 43, Talladega 29, FINAL
Wellborn 56, Childersburg 28, FINAL
Woodland 38, Central Coosa 13, FINAL
Open: Cherokee County, Wadley, Weaver.

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – Running backs Jaydon Thomas and D.K. Wilson floated Oxford while Rush Propst’s first Pell City team put the top on Oxford’s passing game Friday.

Then Mason Mims and Camare Hampton came through when Oxford needed it most.

Mims’ fourth-down scramble kept Oxford’s game-saving drive alive, and Hampton’s zig-zagging, 39-yard catch in run put the Yellow Jackets in position for Thomas’ game-winning touchdown with 33.8 seconds left as Oxford survived 28-25 on Lamar Field.

Oxford’s Jaydon Thomas crosses the goal line with his game-winning, 2-yard touchdown run with 33.8 seconds left on Friday on Lamar Field. (Photo by Greg Warren/For East Alabama Sports Today)
Oxford’s Jaydon Thomas crosses the goal line with his game-winning, 2-yard touchdown run with 33.8 seconds left on Friday on Lamar Field. (Photo by Greg Warren/For East Alabama Sports Today)

The victory sent ninth-ranked Oxford into an open date at 6-1, 4-0 in Class 4A, Region 6. Region favorite second-ranked Clay-Chalkville awaits on the other side.

“This was a B-Y-O-G, bring-your-own-guts kind of game for our guys,” third-year Oxford coach Sam Adams said. “We definitely did not play our best, and Pell City played a great game.”

Pell City fell to 1-5, 1-2 in its first season under Propst, who owns five Alabama state titles and two in Georgia. Leading up to his first regular-season game in his native Calhoun County in 31 years, the Ohatchee native said Oxford’s program stands where he hopes Pell City’s will be in two or three years.

The Panthers made that time table look doable.

“We’re down 21-10, and we come back, at take the lead,” he said. “You’ve got to give a lot of credit to our players.

“I’m proud of where we’re heading. There’s no doubt we’re heading in the right direction.”

Pell City coach Rush Propst, an Ohatchee native, coached his first regular season in his native Calhoun County in 31 years Friday. (Photo by Greg Warren/For East Alabama Sports Today)
Pell City coach Rush Propst, an Ohatchee native, coached his first regular season in his native Calhoun County in 31 years Friday. (Photo by Greg Warren/For East Alabama Sports Today)

Propst’s Panthers jumped out to a 10-0 lead on Jake Blackstone 32-yard field goal at 7:36 of the first quarter and Jon Creel’s 3-yard TD run at 6:42 of the second.

They rallied to take a 25-21 lead on Caleb Groce keepers of 54 and 75 yards in the fourth quarter, the latter coming with 6:30 to play.

Oxford turnovers helped Pell City stay in the game. Hampton’s muffed punt spotted Pell City at Oxford’s 21-yard line ahead of Creel’s touchdown. Groce’s go-ahead touchdown came after Mims and Nicholas Hampton connected for 32-yard completion, but Hampton fumbled at the end of the play at Pell City’s 25.

“We had some crucial turnovers in there on a punt return, and then we get a big completion, and they do a good job of punching the ball out from one of our guys,” Adams said. “To repeatedly have things not go our way and then we continue to answer, I thought it said a lot about our guys.

“Sometimes, you’ve got to win ugly. I thought it said a lot about our guys.”

Pell City’s two-deep safety look made Oxford play a patient game, led by Thomas and Wilson for much of it. Wilson rushed for 123 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown run to put Oxford up 21-10 with 31.9 seconds left in the third quarter. Thomas added 92 yards and the game-winning touchdown.

When Oxford got the ball back after Pell City’s go-ahead score in the fourth quarter, Adams stayed patient, feeding Wilson and Thomas and spending the Yellow Jackets’ three timeouts when needed.

With Oxford facing fourth down and six from its 38, Mims used his legs to make a play, scrambling for eight yards to keep the drive alive.

“We had a wheel out of the backfield, and that was my first read,” he said. “It wasn’t there, and I just saw a huge gap and just made a play.

“It was just surreal. It’s what you dream for.”

Five plays later, Mims found Camare Hampton for a short pass over the middle, and Hampton ran left then cutback right and across the field, down to the Pell City 5-yard line.

“I just knew we needed a play, and I had to come through for my team,” said Hampton, in his first season with Oxford after transferring from Lincoln. “I just did what I had to do.

“It was just a designed play to make something happen, last minute, clutch time.”

Thomas’ game-winning touchdown on second and goal came after Pell City drew a substitution penalty, bringing the ball half the distance to the goal line.

Mims completed 17 of 21 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns, a 13-yarder to Nick Richardson to bring Oxford within 10-7 just before halftime and a 1-yard jump ball in the corner of the end zone to Camare Hampton to give Oxford a 14-10 lead in the third quarter.

“The transfer from Lincoln is a heck of a football player,” Propst said. “They got it to him, and he makes a play and wins the game.”

Oxford High School honors the 1993 team 30 years after the team won the school’s third Class 5A state championship. (Photo by Joe Medley)
Oxford High School honors the 1993 team 30 years after the team won the school’s third Class 5A state championship. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Paid Advertisement – Click for More Information

Nail Plus

Paid Advertisement – Click for More Information

Weaver Police Department now hiring

Paid Advertisement – Click for More Information

JLM Coms

Paid Advertisement – Click for More Information

McClellan Inn Ad