The key play on the night, though, would belong to the Wildcats’ defense, stopping the Yellow Jackets on a two-point conversion on the final minute of the game to preserve a 28-27 victory and keeping hopes of a region championship and first-round homefield advantage alive.
Quarterback Jase Trotter led the Oakman offense with a stellar performance, scoring four touchdowns on the night. Trotter completed 12 of 20 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns, while running for two additional scores.
His top target, Deontre’ Muse, caught five passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns.
2012 All-State First Team cornerback Purvis Coger turned in a phenomenal effort on defense, grabbing two interceptions, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble to go along with two tackles. Jake Jones led Oakman in tackles with 9 and a tackle for a loss.
“Tonight was just a hard-fought game. I told our team after the game that we had our backs against the wall two or three times and we never quit and believing in each other,” Oakman coach Mark Hastings said. “Our kids never stopped believing we would score and that attitude showed until the end. I’m extremely proud of them. We still don’t know what’s going to happen with the region championship and playoff picture, but I’m much happier tied for first in the region than sitting somewhere else.”
Oakman’s first scoring drive of the game began midway through the opening quarter when Coger both forced and recovered an Aliceville fumble at the Wildcat 47-yard line.
Two plays later, Trotter connected with Muse on a 50-yard touchdown strike to put Oakman ahead, 7-0.
After an exchange of possessions, Aliceville tied the game at 7-7 after scoring on a 24-yard run in final remaining seconds of the quarter.
Another failed offensive series for both teams began the second quarter before the Wildcats regained the lead. Trotter and Muse hooked-up again on a 51-yard pass play, giving Oakman the 14-7 edge.
Aliceville scored on the next possession, on a four-yard run to cut the lead to 14-13 after the Yellow Jackets were unsuccessful on the two-point conversion.
Oakman failed to produce on the next series, but quickly regained the ball after Coger recorded his first interception of the game, setting the Wildcats up at the Aliceville 20-yard line. Two plays later, Trotter ran the ball in from six-yards out — extending the Wildcats’ lead to 21-13.
Oakman’s defense stymied two Aliceville scoring drives to end the half, with interceptions by Coger and Ashton Gay to allow the Wildcats to retain their lead.
Both defenses shined to begin the second half, leading to a scoreless third quarter with Aliceville and Oakman combining for only 55 yards of offense.
Near the end of the final quarter, the Yellow Jackets tied the game at 21 after scoring on a 30-yard touchdown run and successfully converting a two-point play.
The Wildcats recorded their final score of the game after a spectacular diving 40-yard catch by Quinton Harris placed the ball on the Yellow Jackets’ one-yard line.
A play later, Trotter scored his second rushing touchdown of the game from a yard out to help Oakman take a 28-21 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, Aliceville returned the ball 61 yards for the touchdown, setting up a crucial two-point conversion. An offsides penalty moved the ball to the one and one-half yard line, but Oakman’s defense, lead by Hunter Williams and Zach Fondren, turned Aliceville away and clinched the 28-27 victory.
Oakman (7-1, 5-1) hosts Cold Springs next week. The Wildcats, Yellow Jackets and the Lamar County Bulldogs are tied for first-place in the region with 5-1 records and will await the outcome of next week’s game in order to determine playoff and region championship standings.