Clay-Chalkville hosts Oxford, state’s top running back
By Gary Lloyd
Clay-Chalkville on Friday hosts a solid Oxford team that includes the state’s top running back in Auburn verbal commitment Racean “Roc” Thomas.
The second-ranked Cougars kick off at 7 p.m. at Cougar Stadium against the Class 6A, Region 7 opponent.
Clay-Chalkville (1-0) last week beat rival Hewitt-Trussville 56-14. Oxford lost 35-14 to Carrollton (Ga.). Thomas left the game last week with an undisclosed injury, finishing his play in the first half with eight rushes for 52 yards. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound running back prospect posted on Twitter that he had suffered a “mild concussion” and that he is “good.”
Thomas, one of the top-rated running back prospects in the country, will have plenty of motivation to show out against the Cougars. Last season, the two-time All-State player rushed for a paltry 35 yards on 15 carries at home against Clay-Chalkville, a 25-16 loss for the Yellow Jackets. He scored one touchdown and threw a long touchdown pass in the loss.
Oxford, ranked No. 5 in Class 6A at the time last season, totaled just 159 yards of offense. The key last season was the Clay-Chalkville defense staying in position, not allowing Thomas to find holes and seams to run through. That will likely be a key again this go-around, with senior defensive tackles Jalen Harvey and Jeremy Johnson, and junior defensive end Kendall Jones, clogging running lanes.
The Clay-Chalkville offense will need to just do what it does — keep the Oxford defense off balance with a mix of Terrelle West and Sidney Battle runs, and crossing and deep routes to the Cougars’ receiving corps.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.