By D. Mark Mitchell
Opelika (4-1, R-3-0) lost the first regular season game of the season last Friday night to Central (6-0) 28-21.
This was the first game between the two rivals since Central moved to 7A. The sellout crowd at Bulldog Stadium watched two teams lay it on the line for 48 minutes.
The Dawgs took a 7-0 lead with 2:53 left in the opening quarter. James Moss caught a 28-yard pass from Mathew Christian. Hunter Weygand added the PAT. Central’s Traveon Samuel caught a pass from Zion Webb for an 11-yard TD. The PAT was missed, making it 7-6.
The Red Devils took the lead after Ethan Baber caught a 34-yard pass 1:05 seconds later. The PAT was good, making it 13-7.
Josh Johnson scored on a 16-yard run with 2:42 left in the first half. Weygand booted the PAT giving the Bulldogs a 14-13 halftime lead.
OHS took an 8-point lead with eight minutes left in the third quarter. Josh Johnson ran 21 yards for the score. Weygand’s kick was good, making the score 21-13.
Opelika did not score again.
Central scored a TD with 3:24 left in the third quarter to make it 21-20.
The Dawgs squandered a chance to take an 8-point lead in the third quarter. Opelika drove to the Central 1/2 yard line. On second down Opelika was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, a 15-yard penalty, which moved the ball back to the 15 1/2 yard line. The Bulldogs did not score on the drive.
Both teams traded punts.
Central scored the game-winning TD with less than a minute to go in the game.
Opelika linebacker and leading tackler Roy Yancy injured his knee late in the second quarter.Yancy sat out the second half. This is the same knee that was injured against McGill in the playoffs last year.
Yancy will try to rehab his knee in an effort to return before the end of the season. He will miss this week’s game and will be evaluated week to week.
OPELIKA vs CHELSEA
OHS returns to Bulldog Stadium tonight to host undefeated Chelsea for homecoming. The 5-0 Hornets are tied with us for top spot in the Region.
Chelsea defeated Briarwood Christian 23-22, Southside 16-13, Valley 43-23, Chilton Co 42-7 and Helena 64-35. This will be the first meeting between the two teams.
Chelsea is undefeated but has not played a tough schedule like Opelika. This will be an advantage for the Bulldogs. We have played two 7A schools (Auburn and Carver) along with 6A power Carver.
Playing at Bulldog stadium will benefit us. It will be tough for the Dawgs to bounce back after playing a physical game against a rival. It may take a series or two to get in rhythm. The home crowd combined with homecoming will help the Bulldogs.
Look for Opelika to dominate both lines of scrimmage. Our defense will keep us in every game. This will allow time for the team to get things going after the tough loss last week.
Opelika is trying to win a Region Championship for the first time since 2007. The Dawgs have Chelsea, Valley and Chilton County left in Region play.
LISTEN TO THE GAME
Fans can listen to the Opelika/Chelsea game on WKKR 97.7 KICKER FM or online at www.kickerfm.com.
You can watch the game on the Internet while listening to the Opelika broadcast team.Go to www.thedawgnetwork.com or opelikaschools.com. Look for the blue and red icon that reads NFHS web cast. Click and you will be directed to the NFHS home page. You can purchase one game, a month or a year. Part of the proceeds go to OHS athletics.
OPELIKA BOOSTER CLUB
The Opelika All-Sports Booster Club will hold the first “Bulldog night” Tuesday Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Western Sizzlin’. This is open to the public and free to attend. Your only cost will be your meal if you eat. Football, cross country and cheerleading will be discussed. Coaches from each team will be present to talk about the teams.
This is a new endeavor sponsored by the All-Sports Booster Club to encourage support for every athletic team at OHS and OMS.
7th grade: The Opelika 7th grade beat Smiths Station 30-6. Kory McCoy had 3 TDs, and Jamaal Harris had a receiving TD. The defense was led by Miles Magee and Marcus Tyson.
8th grade: The eighth grade Opelika football team beat Smiths Station by a score of 43-24. The defense was led by Cameron Torbert, who had a fumble return for a touchdown. JaQuon Pritchett also had a fumble recovery.
The offense was led by the offensive line, which led the way for Cencale Thomas for two rushing TDs and Brantan Barnett for another. Cade Blackmon found Isaiah McKissic for two touchdown passes as well.
Both teams will play next Thursday night at Central Phenix City. The 7th grade game will start at 4:30 p.m. with the 8th playing right after.
The JV volleyball team beat Beauregard, with Ayanna Gaddis scoring five aces and Jasmine Sistrunk amassing four kills. The varsity team also beat Beauragard with the following successes: Tamika Goosby, 11 aces; Kaylyn Thomas, nine kills; and Abrea Green, five kills and two blocks.
First Baptist Church Pastor Steve Scoggins announced he will be leaving the Church. Preacher Steve is heading home to Henderson, N.C.
As a member of First Baptist and personal friend of “Preacher,” I want to say thanks for over 13 years ministering to me and my family. During this time, I have undergone numerous surgeries, many life threatening. Preacher always found time to visit and minister, whether I was in ICU or a regular room.
Steve Scoggins will be missed. I am proud God’s will led him to Opelika.
Two weeks ago, Preacher Scoggins opened his sermon by saying God is in charge of a Church, not the pastor or members. God Bless Preacher!
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for Qantum Radio, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.