OXFORD — The Oxford Yellow Jackets are healthy and have fresh legs, and it showed in their Class 6A playoff opener.
They erupted for 41 first half points, scoring on six of seven first-half possessions and putting up 443 total yards as they ripped the Chelsea Hornets 55-14 on a cool, blustery night at Lamar Field.
"The playoffs are about winning and moving on, and that is what we did," Oxford coach Keith Etheredge said. “We took advantage of some matchups, and I thought our team played well on both sides of the ball. I am proud of the kids and the coaches.”
This one went exactly the way the Jackets (10-1) hoped it would go. Wide receiver Roc Taylor got the scoring going on the third play of the game as he caught a Trey Higgins pass and sprinted 54 yards to put the Jackets up 6-0 a little over a minute into the game.
After a three-and-out for Chelsea, Zay Britt took a punt and returned it 63 yards for the score. Devion Ball took a screen pass and raced 78 yards to give the Jackets a three-touchdown lead with 7:10 left in the first quarter.
Taylor caught a 24-yard pass early in the second quarter for the Jackets' fourth score of the game. Higgins sprinted 77 yards for a score on the Yellow Jackets' next possession.
J.B. Carlisle punched it in from a yard out to end the first half with Oxford leading 41-0.
Trequon Fegans returned an interception 36 yards in the third quarter, and Miguel Mitchell returned a Chelsea kickoff 83 yards in the fourth quarter for the final scoring play for the Jackets.
What to know
—Chelsea had to forfeit an early season 17-14 win over Briarwood Christian and had three other losses by a combined six points. Oxford scored more points in the first half than anyone had scored on Chelsea in an entire game. Chelsea allowed 38 points in a 64-38 win at Pelham.
—Higgins completed 8 of 10 passes in the first half for 266 yards and three touchdowns. Taylor had four catches for 167 yards in the first half. He added a 19-yard catch in the second half to finish with five receptions for 186 yards.
—Chelsea only had 36 yards of offense in the first half and 32 of those came on a deflected pass. Three of their four first downs came on penalties.
—Taylor on his big night receiving: "Trey trusts me enough to get the ball out there in a good position, and I just went up and got the balls.”
—Higgins on the passing game: "We have some great receivers and the line just did a great job of blocking their tails off all night long.”
—Oxford will be on the road next week for the second round of the playoffs to face the Cullman Bearcats (6-5). Cullman defeated Mae Jemison 20-0 Friday night to advance.