By D. Mark Mitchell
Sports Columnist

The OHS girls and boys cross country teams put together solid runs to win the Sectional meet in Montgomery. Both teams dominated their meets.
The girls scored 23 points behind Abby Alcantara’s third place finish. Nikera Durr was fourth, Brittany Golden fifth, Savannah Karl sixth and Tykiera Evans finished 11th.
The boys were led by Ben Garner’s second place finish. Haydan Washburn was third, Kevin Lazenby fourth, Jonathan Bizilia fifth, Braden Holloway seventh, Marcus Chandler ninth, David Bretz 12th  and Elijah Smith finished 13th.
Both teams participated in the AHSAA Class 6A State Meet in Moulton yesterday. The results were not available by press time.
Opelika scored early and often last Friday night against Daphne in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
The Bulldogs continue to blow out teams, scoring 51 points while holding Daphne to -15 yards of total offense.
The offensive and defensive front lines have been solid for OHS all year.
This kind of domination is best described as “winning the trenches.”
The Dawgs clearly won that battle.
Jake Bentley scored the first TD of the game, catching a 37-yard pass from John David Worth with 9:52 left in the first quarter on a trick play.
Bentley then threw touchdown passes to Jaleel Heard (8 yards) and James Moss (36 yards) and scored again himself on a 1-yard run.
Josh Johnson scored two rushing TD’s from 24 and 7 yards.
Jack Slay kicked 5 PATs and booted a 26-yard field goal.
Juwain Shorter, a  freshman, sprinted 55 yards with 6:49 left in the game to cap the scoring for OHS.
The OHS defense continued to create havoc for opposing teams’ offense, holding the Trojans to -15 yards of total offense and zero points.
Coach Erik Speakman’s first team defense has allowed six, that’s right, six (6) points in the last four games.
Will Boler made six solo tackles, broke up three passes and intercepted a pass to stop Daphne’s best drive of the game. Charlie Benton, Zoe Bridges, Zach Yancey and Chris Manley played well on defense and that’s understating it.
Opelika extended their record to 11-0 and will host Hillcrest of Tuscaloosa tonight at Bulldog Stadium in the second round of the play-offs.
The Bulldogs defeated the Patriots in the opening game of the season, 34-20 in Tuscaloosa. That game ended a little after midnight due to a long weather delay.
Opelika will host Hillcrest at Bulldog tonight; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the gate starting at 5:30 p.m.
Hillcrest (8-3) defeated Northview 36-15 last Friday night in Tuscaloosa. Their three losses were to Opelika, Clay-Chalkville 41-40  in double overtime and McAdory 35-14.
Hillcrest defeated Oak Mountain 31-0, Selma 13-0, Bessemer City 23-20, Tuscaloosa County 35-7, Northridge 28-20, Paul Bryant 35-28, Brookwood 36-6 and Northview.
The Patriots are led by junior running back Brian Robinson, a four star recruit who recently committed to Alabama. Robinson has rushed for 1,276 yards and scored 15 rushing TD’s so far this season. He broke the AHSAA single game rushing record with 447 yards against defending champion Clay-Chalkville.
Opelika’s defense is allowing an average of 18 points per game, a statistic that Coach Blackmon and Coach Speakman really like.
The Dawgs offense is explosive on the ground and through the air. They are averaging over 45 points a game.
Look for the Bulldogs to make or exceed their average tonight.
This is one of the best offensive teams I have seen at Opelika during my 36 years as the “Voice of the Bulldogs.” The defense is in the top two or three.
Our special teams have been solid. Jack Slay is having a consistent year kicking field goals, extra points and kicking off.
Hillcrest must have a fast start to stay in the game tonight. If the Bulldogs score early and build a two touchdown lead, it will turn into a rout.
Fans can listen to the Opelika/Hillcrest game tonight starting at 6:30 on WKKR 97.7 KickerFM.
You can also listen online at click “listen live” or download the i-Heart Radio App on your Smart Phone.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the  A-O Sports Council.