OXFORD, Alabama -- Jonovan Carlisle busted up the middle for a 74-yard touchdown run with less than two minutes to go in the game to help Oxford take a 31-14 win at Lamar Field at Oxford Stadium on Friday night. With the Oxford win, the Yellow Jackets take the Class 6A, Region 6 Championship.
The game was tied 14-14 at halftime, but Oxford outscored Gardendale 17-0 in the second half to get the #1 seed in region 6. Oxford will host Chelsea in the first round of the 2019 Class 6A playoffs.
Carlisle had a huge game and a career game with 232 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown for Oxford. "This means a lot, all Glory to God," said Yellow Jackets RB Carlisle. "I felt this in my dreams. The hole just opened up. I was just having an emotional moment. I really like playing football and I wanted to get back with it. This means a lot to me. We can't stop here, we have to keep getting better. Coming off the loss, we had to keep moving and not look back."
Gardendale (7-2, 5-2) score first in the game. Goose Crowder scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and the Rockets took a 7-0 lead with 10:00 left in the first quarter. A big LT Sanders screen play setup the Crowder score. Oxford came back on their next drive and scored quickly to tie the game. With 9:03 left in the first quarter, Trey Higgins found Roc Taylor on a 35-yard touchdown pass play. A Carlisle long run setup the Oxford touchdown and a 7-7 tie.
Gardendale took the lead again in the first half, when Crowder threw to Sanders on an 18-yard touchdown pass play. With the score, the Rockets led 14-7 with :22 seconds left in the first quarter.
Oxford (8-1, 5-1) tied the game on a Higgins to Camden Etheredge on a 7-yard touchdown pass play in the middle of the end zone. With the score, Oxford tied the game at 14-14 with 5:41 left in the half. With 2:23 left in the first half, Gardendale drove down to the Yellow Jackets 24-yard line on a Crowder to Jay Brooks pass, but the Rockets couldn't do anything after the big pass play.
With 8:27 left in the third quarter, Andrew Warhurst kicked a 39-yard field goal and Oxford took a 17-14 lead that they would not give up the rest of the game. With 9:12 left in the fourth quarter, defensive back Trequon Fegans picked off a Rockets pass and raced 74-yards for a Yellow Jackets touchdown. Early in the fourth quarter, Oxford led 24-14. With 1:23 left in the game, Carlisle ripped off the big run to seal the win for Oxford. "This win means a lot to Oxford football because we set out to be region champions," said Yellow Jackets head coach Keith Etheredge. "I thought our guys played great. This reason is rough. You have to play every single Friday night. Our kids stepped up the plate."
In the game, Oxford had 343 total yards while Gardendale had 242 total yards on the night. There were 20 penalties in the game. Both teams had 10 apiece. Goose Crowder completed 16-of-33 passing for 222 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Bailey Parsons had six receptions for 48 yards and Sanders had two catches for 56 yards and the one touchdown.
Up next, Oxford will host Sumpter Central, while Gardendale will host 7A Mountain Brook.