By D. Mark Mitchell
Sports Editor

OHS, already 0-2 on the road this year, found themselves trailing 12-0 at halftime to the 1-4 Poets last Friday night in Montgomery.

The Bulldogs played uninspired football in the first half. Everything we tried failed due to mistakes or effort. Coach Blackmon had his staff use the 20 minutes for halftime to put a different Opelika team on the field for the third and fourth quarter.

It worked!

The Dawgs came out with a pep in their step scoring 43 straight points, gaining 256 yards on offense while the defense held Lanier to one first downs and zero second half points.

Opelika used a sound running attack from TJ Griffen and Calvin Bryant for 165 yards between them.

Quarterback Mathew Christian was 7-15 for 90 passing yards. Marquise Fulton caught five passes, two for touchdowns.

Coach Blackman was pleased with the Region win, but upset with their slow start.

“That was an embarrassing first half. Terrible. We went in and asked our team if they wanted to make the playoffs because their season is on the line in the second half. We had to have a win to keep our playoff hopes alive and Region championship,” Blackmon said.

The speech worked — and Opelika takes a 3-2 record to play the 3-2 Smiths Station Panthers at T.C. Brittian Stadium tonight at 7 p.m.

The winner of the game will move one gamer closer to the playoffs.

Smiths Station likes to run the ball, but will mix in 15 to 18 passes a game. The Pathers have two backs with a 4.3 speed to go along with a two-year starter at QB. The defense plays hard and the kicking game is solid.

Opelika will have to start fast and play hard for 48 minutes.

We need to score early and put pressure on a team that has not beaten Opelika since 1995. That’s right, Smiths Station has not beat Opelika in 16 years.

This is going to be a good game between two teams trying to win a Region championship.

You can hear the game on WKKR 97.7 Kicker FM or on the web at Air time is 6:30 p.m. for the Brian Blackmon pre-game show with kickoff set for 7 p.m.

OMS Football

Central, PC defeated the OMS eighth graders 12-7. Weldrin Ford scored the Bulldogs only touchdown and Brandon Gaffney added the extra point. John David Worth, Paul Money and Eric Baker led the offense while Zac Yancey, Ford and Henry Smith T led the defense. The OMS eighth graders fall to 4-2. Both OMS teams travelled to Prattville yesterday, Oct. 11. The results for these games was not available by press time.

Booster Club Meeting Before Auburn Game

The Opelika All-Sports Booster club will hold a Booster Club meeting on Oct. 23 at the Irish Bred Pub at 6:30 p.m.

Coach Blackmon will talk about the season and the game with Auburn that is taking place on Oct. 26.

Cross Country

The Opelika Cross Country team travelled to the Oakville Indian Mounds Park on Oct. 6, to compete against teams from around the Southeast in the Jesse Owens Cross country Invitational. The junior boys finished in a very impressive fifth place in a field of 31 teams in the large school junior boys division. The junior boys were led in scoring by Kevin Lazenby placing fourth in a field of 538 athletes. The rest of the team scoring for Opelika were Ben Garner, Palmer Long, Johnathon Bizilia and Will Overstreet.

Emma Garner competed in the Elite Gold division 5k with 297 of the best runners in the Southeast. She finished in a personal best time of 18:58 for 16th place overall.

The OMS seventh graders played to an 8-8 tie in Phenix City Tuesday night. Ladamian Webb scored the touchdown and extra point for the bulldogs. Jordan Heard, Hank Brown, Conner Smith and Christopher Scullen led the offense. Eliljah Miller, Turner Powers, Tylek Jackson and TJ Jones with an interception led the defense. OMS seventh graders record movers to 4-0-2.