OXFORD — After pulling out back-to-back tight wins in the difficult OAA White, the Southfield football team ran away late to win another tough division game against Oxford, 21-0.
The Bluejays’ victories against Oak Park and Farmington Hills Harrison the past two weeks established them as the team to beat in the division, but Southfield didn’t get a break on Oxford’s senior night as it took an all-around team effort, complete with a few big passing plays, for it to improve to 5-1 and 5-0 in the league.
Turnovers and strong defense from Southfield proved to be the difference as Southfield tacked on a late touchdown and received a good game from quarterback Jalen Brady for the win.
“It’s hard to win out here,” Southfield head coach Tim Conley said. “Real physical game. … We did a lot of good stuff offensively. I think there was two drives we didn’t score on that I would’ve liked to have gotten a field goal on.”
Brady led the way offensively, converting a few long pass plays and being efficient on the night.
He found wide receiver Devontae Alfred for two scores and totaled 166 yards through the air in a solid first half as the Bluejays struggled to run the ball on its first couple drives.
He hooked up with Alfred for an 84-yard touchdown less than three minutes into the second quarter, then found his big receiver again for a 17-yard strike with 2:08 remaining before halftime, and made some big completions in the second half to secure victory.
Alfred reeled in three passes for 115 yards and the two touchdowns in the first half as he also came up big for the Bluejays.
“He’s just a phenomenal kid,” Conley said of Alfred. “Devontae Alfred’s been so great this year, and we were able to get him in the open, and I’m sure Brady would agree that makes him a lot better quarterback.”
The Wildcats succeeded in moving the ball against one of the area’s most stout defensive fronts, but couldn’t finish drives in the first half. In four first-half possessions, the Wildcats turned it over on downs twice in Southfield territory and turned it over once near the Southfield goal-line and once in their own territory.
On its second possession, the Wildcats used a combination of four runners to move down the field, but Southfield stepped up at the goal-line and turned away Oxford on three consecutive plays inside the three yard-line to force a turnover on downs.
On the ensuing drive, Brady connected with Alfred for a 16-yard gain, and on the next play, hit Alfred with a pass which was converted into an 84-yard score thanks to a long run-after-catch by Alfred to make it 7-0 Southfield.
Oxford again took it inside the Southfield 10 yard-line on a mix of runs by running back Scott Stubenrauch and quarterback Glacier Wallington on its next possession, but fumbled to come up with no points.
The Bluejays cashed in as Brady led the team down the field for a score to make it 14-0 before halftime.
The Oxford defense forced a couple turnovers in the second half and didn’t allow the Bluejays many easy gains, but the Wildcats had too many missed opportunities to pull out a big win.
Southfield, which also forced some second-half turnovers, added a late touchdown when Adrian Carter broke free for an 11-yard touchdown scamper with 7:03 remaining.
The Bluejays continue play with Rochester Adams next week, while the Wildcats, who fall to 2-4 and 2-3 in league and have lost several tight games, play Southfield-Lathrup.
“You can’t be giving up big long runs and fumbles and things like that — you can’t do that in the OAA White,” Oxford head coach Bud Rowley said. “I thought our kids played up to their potential. We matched right up with them.”