Oneonta back in title game for third straight season

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It has been 33 years since the Charles Henderson Trojans found themselves in a state title game. The Oneonta Redskins found themselves in this position 363 days ago.

While it might seem like Charles Henderson and Oneonta have little in common, there are a number of connections between the two schools.

Oneonta High School is located 178 miles north of Troy in Oneonta, AL in Blount County. Just as in Troy, US Highway 231 runs through the center of Oneonta and forms the main thoroughfare for the city.

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Like Charles Henderson, Oneonta High School is the only high school in its school district, Oneonta City Schools.

And, perhaps most significantly, Oneonta head coach Don Jacobs coached at Troy University as a position coach and offensive coordinator from 1990-2001.

Since leaving Troy in 2001, Jacobs has coached at Elkmont High School for three years and at Oneonta High School for four years. In Jacobs’ seven years as a coach, all of his teams have advanced to the playoffs.

Jacobs has had an almost unparalleled success as Oneonta. Of his four Redskin teams, three have advanced to the state championship game. Oneonta has come up short in its past two tries, however, falling 42-28 to Jackson in 2011 and 42-14 to UMS-Wright in 2012.

This year, Jacobs has the second-ranked Redskins poised to take home the blue map for the third time in school history if they can get past the top-ranked Trojans.

Oneonta favors a power running game that makes use of the Redskins excellent offensive line. Terrell McDaniel and Avery Reid split time at the running back position for the Redskins and have combined to score 39 touchdowns on the season.

On defense, the Redskins have a trio of talented linebackers. Twins Ethan and Thomas Boyd and two-time All-State selection Blake Bean have combined to lead a defense that has only given up an average of 11 points-per-game.

While the Redskins have rolled out to an impressive 13-1 record on the season, they have not faced as many quality teams as the Trojans. Oneonta lost their opening game to 5A Pinson Valley 18-25 and downed Guntersville 23-21. Since then, the Redskins have won their remaining games by at least two touchdowns. Oneonta’s regions, Class 4A Region 6, had two 5-6 teams qualify for the playoffs.

In the playoffs, Oneonta has outscored its opponents 192-47 en route to the state championship game. The Redskins’ best wins of the season include a win over 10-2 Guntersville and 12-2 Munford.

While the Redskins and Trojans have never met on the field, Oneonta does have a history with another team from Pike County. Oneonta and Pike County met in back-to-back seasons in 2003 and 2004. Pike County beat Oneonta 30-7 in the Class 3A title game in 2003, but the Redskins had their revenge the next season, beating Pike County 18-3 in the quarterfinals on their way to a state championship.