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Highlanders hand Cats heartbreaking loss

Oxford Quarterback Glacier Wallington lowered his shoulder and knocked a Rochester Adams defender head over heels during one of his runs. Photo by Dan Shriner. (click for larger version)
October 02, 2013 - The Oxford Wildcats football team came tantalizingly close once again last week but instead dropped their third game in five and now must claw their way to a playoff spot.

The Wildcats lost 28-21 in the final seconds of the game when time ran out as they were less than a yard from the end zone. A touchdown and extra point would have meant overtime against Rochester Adams.

Instead it meant Oxford dropped its third game of the year. All losses have been by a touchdown or less.

The game was certainly exciting.

The Highlanders had a 28-21 lead late in the fourth quarter when they attempted a field goal. The kick was wide and Oxford had only 1.21 left on the clock, no timeouts left and 80 yards to go to tie the game and force overtime.

Quarterback Glacier Wallington led the Cats swiftly down the field. He picked up 18 yards on one scramble and connected on two passes totaling 58 yards to Mitch Tilley.

The second of those passes left the ball on the two yard line. After one attempt to score failed, the Wildcats were inside the one yard line and were scrambling to get in place and call a play.

Unfortunately, time expired before Oxford could start the play.

Coach Bud Rowley said the game seemed to have a playoff atmosphere as the Wildcats hoped to ruin the Highlanders' homecoming.

The game was tied at 14-14 at halftime. Wallington led the team for the opening drive down the field in the third quarter. Scott Stubenrauch picked up chunks of yardage on the drive.

It appeared the Oxford would score from two yards out, but the ball was stripped by an Adams defender who returned the ball 98 yards for a touchdown and a swing in momentum.

Oxford answered the turnover and touchdown with another long drive that ended with Wallington tossing a touchdown pass to Ben Line to tie the game at 21.

Unfortunately, Adams came back led by their quarterback Matt Sokol to again take the lead at 28-21 in the fourth quarter.

Oxford's frantic 79- yard drive in the final minute just wasn't enough, by inches.

The Wildcats had 275 rushing yards and 86 passing yards. Adams finished with 293 yards rushing.

Wallington led all runners with 134 yards rushing. Stubenrauch finished with 99 yards rushing.

Former Leader Editor Dan Shriner will cover Wildcat football this season.
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