By Fred Woods
The Opelika Chiefs rolled up a 28-12 lead over the Prattville Patriots in the first half of their game at Beulah High School Stadium last Saturday night. Apparently thinking they had the game won, the Chiefs seemingly forgot the basics of good football like blocking, tackling, executing, holding on to the ball and playing defense; the things Coach Hunter Price stresses every practice. Prattville took advantage of the uncharacteristic play by the Chiefs on both sides of the ball to score 17 unanswered points and give the Chiefs their first regular season defeat in three seasons, 29-28.
The Chiefs had their moments, mostly in the first half. Quarterback Kyle Caldwell threw for four (first-half) touchdowns and 273 total yards but was intercepted twice, once late in the game when the Chiefs were driving toward a potential go-ahead touchdown. Rodney Johnson and Ralph Spry each caught two TD passes. Latrell Jenkins rushed for 69 yards and Caldwell added 71, most of it coming on one long run.
On defense, Tony Askew came up with two interceptions and Ladarius Blackmon had several pass break-ups. Greg Moss, Alford and Landers helped hold the Patriots ground game in check for the first half.
It rained for much of the second half, making for a wet field and ball. But the rain didn’t bother Prattville nearly as much as Opelika.
The Chiefs are off this week and that may be a good thing as their next game is on the road with the Metro Atlanta Horsemen on April 9. The Horsemen were rated second last week in the APDFL to the Chiefs, and will probably move up to first with the Chiefs’ defeat. The Chiefs will have to play two halves of very good football if they hope to return to the win column.