Oxford's Racean Thomas: 409 yards, 5 TDs in Yellow Jackets' win
by Jared Gravette
Star Sports Writer
Nov 02, 2013 | 4449 views |  0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Oxford's Racean Thomas rushing for yardage against Spain Park. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
Oxford's Racean Thomas rushing for yardage against Spain Park. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
OXFORD — Call him Mr. 409, because Racean Thomas cleaned house Friday night.

The Auburn commitment rushed for a career-high 409 yards on 32 carries against Spain Park, leading Oxford to a 56-49 win to close out the regular season.

Thomas’ athleticism proved too much for the Jaguars, as he scored on runs of 42, 65, 21, 20 and 85 yards.

“Everybody says he is a top five back in the country,” Oxford coach Ryan Herring said. “Right now, there’s no doubt to me, he’s No. 1 in the country.”

Thomas praised the guys up front for opening up running lanes as Oxford (8-2) extended its win streak to eight.

“My offensive line, they stepped up a lot,” Thomas said. “They took a lot of criticism. You know, they really take it in a good way, try to use it in a positive way. They opened up a lot of holes.

“We got two bad drives to begin the ballgame. And really, you know, we kind of used that as motivation to just try to keep going.”

Oxford went three-and-out on its first two possessions and fell into an early seven-point hole after Otis Harris scored on a 44-yard touchdown run on Spain Park’s first drive.

Thomas had three carries for minus-4 yards when the Yellow Jackets took the field for their third possession, but that number rose in a hurry.

After picking up 11 yards on first down, Oxford quarterback Ty Webber faked a handoff to the fullback before pitching the ball to Thomas. The senior did the rest, carrying the ball 42 yards into the end zone.

That knotted the score 7-7 after the first of four successful extra points by Cooper Lewis.

The teams traded scores to close out the first half. On Oxford’s next possession, Webber faked a handoff to Thomas and found Tredarian Gamble wide open down the field. Gamble made one defender miss and raced 66 yards for a touchdown, putting the Yellow Jackets up 14-7.

Spain Park tied the game when quarterback Mason Duke found Dalton Brown for a 21-yard touchdown. Webber’s 1-yard quarterback sneak on the next drive put Oxford back on top, but Lewis’ extra point was blocked. That gave the Jaguars a 21-20 lead at halftime after Duke found Phillip Brown on a 16-yard touchdown pass with 1:16 to go in the second quarter.

Thomas finished the first half with 13 carries for 110 yards, but he was just getting started. Oxford scored 21 unanswered points to open the second half, all on touchdown runs from Thomas.

The Jaguars weren’t finished, though, putting together a run of their own. Duke found Harris on touchdown passes of 15 and 11 yards to cut the lead to 41-35 with 5:13 to go in the fourth quarter.

The Yellow Jackets went back to Thomas to stop the bleeding, and he answered with his longest run of the night, an 85-yarder down the right sideline.

Spain Park answered with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Duke to Dalton Brown, making the score 49-42 with 2:25 to go.

The Jaguars attempted an onsides kick, but Gamble snatched the ball out of the air and found some running room, carrying it down to the Spain Park 23-yard line.

Four plays later, Webber found Gamble for an 11-yard touchdown pass to push the lead back to 14.

The Jaguars capped the scoring with 14 seconds to go when Duke found Wade Streeter for a 34-yard touchdown pass. Spain Park attempted another onsides kick, but it was unsuccessful.

Duke finished 31 of 56 for 384 yards passing and six touchdowns for Spain Park.

The Yellow Jackets will host Tuscaloosa County in the first round of the playoffs next Friday.
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