Last week, the Wildcat defense proved up to the task in turning away Aliceville on a critical two-point conversion to seal a 28-27 victory.
On Friday night, it was the Oakman offense’s turn to step up — and with the game on the line, it was Jase Trotter’s time to shine.
The senior quarterback scored the game-winning touchdown with 21 seconds left in the game — one of six Trotter had on the night — as Oakman beat the Cold Springs Eagles, 42-38 at Hosea Collins Field.
Trotter led the Oakman offense with 388 total yards, connecting on 17-21 passes for 286 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, while rushing for 102 yards on 15 carries, scoring four touchdowns on the ground.
Receivers Purvis Coger and Quinton Harris had great nights as well, contributing to the 412-yard offensive production. Coger had six catches for 119 yards, while Harris added 107 yards on six catches — scoring one touchdown through the air. Harris also rushed for a touchdown for his second score of the night. Jake Jones led the Oakman defense with 10 tackles.
The Wildcats had their problems defensively with Cold Springs’ bruising runningback Caleb Ellison, who rushed for 136 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries — but game clock management favored Oakman.
“My hat is off to Cold Springs — we couldn’t stop them all night and were more physical at the line of scrimmage than we were. It’s something we have to work on if we’re going to have any more wins this year,” Oakman coach Mark Hastings said. “Offensively, I can say enough about the veteran leadership of Jase Trotter and the play of our offensive line and receivers. We had a tough region fight against a very capable opponent and when we needed that leadership the most, they came through in a big way.”
The Eagles took the lead on the first possession of the game on a 60-yard drive, but were unable to convert a two-point attempt for a 6-0 advantage.
Oakman needed just one play to respond and take the lead, as Trotter connected with Harris on a 61-yard touchdown strike, putting the Wildcats in command 7-6.
Cold Springs scored 16 unanswered points to open the second quarter on drives of 29 and 39 yards to regain the lead, 22-7.
The Wildcats cut the Eagles’s advantage to 22-14 following an 11-play, 58-yard drive, with Harris taking the ball in from 10 yards out for the score.
After holding Cold Springs to a punt on the ensuing series, the Oakman offense went back to work — putting together an eight-play, 81-yard drive, capped-off by Trotter’s 16-yard touchdown run. Harris ran the ball in for the two-point conversion to tie the game a 22-22 going into halftime.
Oakman broke the tie to begin the third quarter, topping off an eight-play, 65-yard drive with a six yard run by Trotter for the 29-22 edge.
The Eagles battled back from the scoring deficit with a 52-yard drive of their own near the end of the quarter, taking command of the game 30-29 after a successful two-point conversion.
The battle continued throughout the fourth quarter, with the lead changing three times before reaching the game’s conclusion.
Trotter scored on the second play of the quarter to put Oakman back on top, 35-30, after the missed two-point conversion attempt.
With 1:46 remaining in the contest, the Eagles resumed control on a one-yard run by Ellison, 38-35, following a two-point conversion.
The Wildcats, however, would drive quickly to grab the victory, topping a 75-yard series with Trotter’s fourth rushing touchdown of the night on a five-yard carry with 21 seconds remaining in the game.
Harris ended the come-back hopes of the Eagles on the first play of their possession after intercepting a pass, ensuring the 42-38 victory.
With wins by fellow region front-runners Lamar County and Aliceville, Oakman’s postseason fate, as well as that of the 2013 Class 2A, Region 4 championship still hang in the balance — pending a tie-breaking decision by Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) guidelines.