Toros take runner-up trophy at state

Oxford 14, Spanish Fort 13


AUBURN, Ala. — The Spanish Fort Toros’ miraculous season continued to the final round where they took on an offensively and defensively stout Oxford

Yellow Jackets team. The keys for Spanish Fort, like they have allseason, was to win individual matchups. The final score was Oxford 14, Spanish Fort 13.

The Toros made a huge push against the Yellow Jackets and even the refs at certain points but they took the lead with 6:12 left in the game. But, the Yellow Jackets found the endzone at the right opportunity with 23 seconds left in the game to grab a one-point lead.

Before the game, the hype was surrounding the incredibly reliable scoring of both Spanish Fort and Oxford. Instead, both teams found themselves in a fight to drive the ball consistently down the field.

Both defenses made it difficult for either offense to create enough momentum to get points on the board. With 2:05 minutes left in the second quarter Oxford running back Jonovan Carlisle put the Yellow Jackets on the board with a 13-yard run to make it 7-0 at halftime.

The Toros got on the board late in the third quarter after wearing down the Yellow Jackets’ defense with their power run game and stout offensive line. With three minutes left in the third quarter, Toros running back Johnny Morris

scored on a 15-yard run to tie the game up.

During the third quarter, the Toros’ stingy defense was too much for the Yellow Jackets to consistently drive the ball down the field. Their dual-threat quarterback Trey Higgins III suffered a lower leg injury.

The Yellow Jackets had  to rely on their second quarterback  X’Zavian Britt, who was also their return specialist, punter, extra wide receiver, and all-purpose player.

The Toros were able to take the lead back after a fumble near the endzone from Abrams-Draine and recovered by wide receiver Travis McGowan with 6:12 left

in the game. The extra point by Tanner Keesee was no good. The Yellow

Jackets were attempting to drive the ball down the field before eventually

finding the red zone.

Multiple Spanish Fort defenders forced a turnover on downs. After a three-and-out from the Toros’ offense, Oxford had 1:34 to find the endzone. Britt’s 24-

yard RPO (run-pass-option) run put the Yellow Jackets in the red zone.

After some key mistakes and a pass interference from the Toros’ defense,

Oxford grab the 14-13 lead with a three-yard run from Trequon Fegan

with 23 seconds left in the game.

The Toros  fumbled on the next kickoff with Oxford recovering the ball and sealing the 6A state championship. The Yellow Jackets’ offense outgained the

Toros’ offense in total yards 348-to-242. The Toros’ defense was efficient

to hold the Yellow Jackets’ explosive offense to 14 points. Toros defensive tackle Carlos “C.J” Johnson led the team in total tackles with 9.5 tackles and hadfor

the only tackle for loss in the game. Cornerback Carl Fauntroy had an interception in the first quarter. Linebacker Logan Ganey blocked a Yellow Jackets’ field goal in the fourth quarter.

Toros running back Johnny Morris had 100 rushing yards on 18 carries for an average of 5.6 yards per carry. Quarterback Kris Abrams-Draine accounted for 83 rushing yards on 18 carries in the RPO, passed for 15 yards on one completion and caught one reception for 25 yards.

The Toros had four drives where they were behind their own 20-yard. Oxford’s punting by Britt was too much for the Toros’ offense to create consistent drives.

Oxford’s multi-purposeful weapon X’Zavian Britt was named MVP due to the 95 all-purpose yards and the fantastic punting he did even before the injury to Higgins.

Oxford’s offense made too many great plays from all over the field, simple run formations, and play-action plays. The Toros didn’t shoot themselves in the foot too much outside of the missed extra point and a personal foul that pushed them back on a potential field goal right before halftime.

This is the first loss in the championship game for the Spanish Fort Toros. With so much talent depleting, head coach Ben Blackmon will use this game

and their 5-4 record in the regular season as inspiration for building another championship caliber team.

The AHSAA State Championship Finals took place for all seven divisions last week at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

 2019 AHSAA Super 7 State Championships

Class 7A

Thompson (12-1) 40, Central-Phenix City (12-2) 14

Class 6A

Oxford (14-1) 14, Spanish Fort (9-5) 13

Class 5A

Central, Clay County (13-2) 31, Pleasant Grove (13-2) 27

Class 4A

UMS-Wright (14-0) 28, Jacksonville (12-3) 17

Class 3A

Piedmont (14-1) 26, Mobile Christian (9-5) 24

Class 2A

Fyffe (15-0) 56, Reeltown (13-2) 7

Class 1A

Lanett (14-0) 41, Mars Hill Bible (14-1) 30

Special Olympics Alabama Unified Game

Baldwin County 27, Vestavia Hills 20