October 24, 2012 - Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.
Oxford QB Glacier Wallington was all alone with nothing but end zone in front of him as he made a 72-yard touchdown run against Troy Friday night. Wallington faked handing the ball off to Zack Hadorn, then it was off to the races. Photo by Dan Shriner. (click for larger version)
But, it's always better to be lucky and good.
Oxford's sophomore quarterback Glacier Wallington was both lucky and good on Friday when his Wildcats needed a win against Troy in order to guarantee a berth in the state playoffs. The Cats won 34-20 with two touchdowns late in the game.
The Wildcats will travel to play Birmingham Seaholm on Friday in the first round of the state playoffs. The game will be at 7 p.m.
Wallington's luck began during the fourth quarter of the Troy game with the score tied at 20-20. During a run, he fumbled the ball. A Troy defender coming in to recover the fumble, kicked the ball back towards Wallington, who grabbed the pigskin.
"I was lucky," he said.
Two plays later, Wallington displayed how good he is.
The play was a third down and one from the Wildcat's 28.
"Coach called a 31 dive and I was supposed to hand it off but I saw the tackle come down and I saw an opening," Wallington said. "It was a made up play."
Instead of handing the ball off to Zack Hadorn, Wallington faked the handoff and kept the ball. He easily broke through the line where the defensive tackle should have been. No one touched him the rest of the way.
Seventy two yards later, Oxford had a 26-20 lead and the Wildcats could smell the playoffs with only 3:32 remaining.
But, what if the play had not worked?
"Coach would have been really upset," Wallington said.
But Coach Bud Rowley couldn't have been happier.
"He made it up," Rowley said, of the play. "It's why we win. We have great coaches and great players."
Troy showed a good offense against the Wildcats compiling 369 yards of offense, with 240 of those yards in the air.
It was the Wildcat's legendary ground attack that made the difference. Oxford had 322 yards on the ground and were led by Ben Line with two touchdowns and 164 yards on 36 carries. Wallington with 128 yards on only eight carries.
The Wildcats got the first score of the game on a one-yard run by Hadorn in the first quarter followed by the conversion byJosh Nelson. Troy came back on a 96 yard drive in a little more than a minute to tie the game at 7-7.
Troy added a field goal later but Line scored on a two-yard run with 1:31 left in the half. The extra point was wide and Oxford held a 13-10 halftime advantage.
Troy tied the game again on a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter.
Oxford regained the lead on a 20-yard TD pass from Wallington to Marty Giannola to go up 20-13.
Once again, Troy came back and tied the score at 20-20.
After Wallington's back-breaking run, Troy couldn't come back and the Wildcats added their final score, on a two-yard run by line with only a few seconds remaining.
The Wildcats will travel to Seaholm on Friday for a match against the Maples. Game time is 7 p.m.
Former Leader Editor Dan Shriner will cover Wildcat football this season.