On Friday night, history repeated itself. After falling behind 12-0 in the first quarter, Oakman went on a 29-point scoring run, only to hold off a 16-point run from Parrish in the final minute of the game to preserve a 29-28 victory.
Both teams rolled up huge yardage on the ground, with the Tornadoes finishing with a slight edge, 329-327 yards. Parrish’s duo of Marcus and Reginald Harris accounted for over 300 rushing yards, with Reginald carrying the ball 15 times for 173 yards and a touchdown, while Marcus rushed for 130 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns. Oakman countered with a strong rushing duo of their own, Jase Trotter and Chris Austin. Austin rushed 18 times for 93 yards and a touchdown, while Trotter led the team with 161 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns. Trotter also passed for 73 yards for 234 all-purpose yards.
Oakman coach Mark Hastings said improvement on defense, as well as better execution on offense will needed for the Wildcats to be successful in the rest of the season.
“I felt like we had chances to put the game away, but we shot ourselves in the foot,” Hastings said. “Parrish’s running backs are very good and we did a really poor job of tackling them. We can’t keep tackling like we did and expect to win.”
Hastings praised his team’s rushing effort and the ability of the runningbacks to find holes opened by the offensive line.
“Jase Trotter is a great runner and Chris Austin and Chris Lindsey are quality backs for us — they all showed their ability tonight,” Hastings said. “Quinton Harris made great plays running the ball tonight as well — he adds a different element on offense for us that along with his receiving ability, make him a superb asset.”
Parrish jumped out to a quick 12-0 early in the first quarter. The Tornadoes’ Mason Secrest recovered a Trotter fumble, leading to a 73-yard run by Marcus Harris. Parrish took the 6-0 following the missed extra point.
After the Wildcats fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, Parrish drove 31 yards on 4 plays, with Reginald Harris taking the ball in from a yard out, extending the lead to 12-0 after the missed extra point.
For the next two and a half quarters, the Oakman offense took center stage — scoring 29 unanswered points.
Trotter capped off a 10-play, 56 yard drive on a 6-yard run to cut the lead to 12-7 following a successful extra point try. After the kickoff, Oakman’s Purvis Coger intercepted Parrish’s Jarrett Robertson, leading to a seven-play, 66-yard drive, concluding a one-yard touchdown run by Trotter. The Wildcats run the ball in for a two-point conversion to take the lead, 15-12.
After holding the Tornadoes to a punt on the following series, the Wildcats drove 88 yards on 10 plays, with Austin scoring on a one-yard run. A good extra point kick allowed Oakman to take a 22-12 lead into halftime.
The Wildcats added an additional score late in the third quarter, ending an eight-play, 81-yard drive as Quinton Harris scored on a three-yard run. After the extra point kick, Oakman extended the edge to 29-12.
The Tornadoes would regain their momentum in the fourth quarter on a pair scores. Marcus Harris took the ball in from four yards out to end a 59-yard drive, with Reginald Harris converting on the two-point try to cut the lead to 29-20.
In the final minute of the game, Robertson found Marcus Harris on an eight-yard touchdown strike to draw the Tornadoes within a point, 29-28, after Chris Evans converted the two-point try.
The Tornadoes attempted an onside kick with 58 seconds left on the clock, but the Wildcats recovered the kick to secure the 29-28 victory.
Secrest finished the game with 10 tackles including a tackle for a loss and recovered a fumble to lead the Parrish defense. Branden Davis led the Oakman defense with 7 tackles and a tackle for a loss.
Oakman begins region play with a key matchup at Lamar County. Parrish hosts Hubbertville in a crucial region clash of their own.