Auburn High tears into Opelika

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Auburn High School (2-0) defeated Opelika High School (0-1) 37-10 last Friday night at Duck Samford Stadium. Opelika played without several members of the team due to one or two players testing positive for the coronavirus.

Auburn held a 16-10 lead at halftime, although Opelika failed to pick up a first down. The Bulldogs held the Tigers from scoring from the 1-yard line. After the fourth down stop at the 1, Auburn’s defense earned 2 points after tackling an Opelika player in the end zone.

Opelika’s Eric Thomas intercepted a screen pass on the next possession. Opelika took a 3-2 lead after Baker Rowton made a 23-yard field goal with 9:45 left in the second quarter. Auburn answered with a nine-play, 63-yard drive resulting in an 8-yard touchdown pass from Mathew Caldwell to Zane Ray. The PAT made it 9-3 Auburn.

The Tigers intercepted an Opelika pass 3 minutes later, resulting in a 61-yard pick six. The extra point extended the score 16-3. Opelika’s Will Beams caught an 80-yard pass for a touchdown, on the ensuing possession, closing the gap to 16-10.

Auburn took over the game in the second half, scoring 21 unanswered points to win 37-10. Auburn gained 305 yards on offense while holding Opelika to 150 yards.

Opelika must regroup and prepare for region foe Sidney Lanier in the first home game at Bulldog Stadium, Friday night. The Poets enter the game with a 1-0 record after beating rival Jeff Davis 12-7.

Opelika dominates the series 12 wins to Lanier’s three. The last time the two teams played, in 2013, it was a 56-20 Bulldog win. Lanier’s last win over Opelika was in 1987.

Tickets are available online at www.gofan.com. No tickets are available at any outlets or Opelika High. Fans can listen to the game on 97.7 Kicker FM, online at kickerfm.com and on the IHeartRadio app on your smart phone. You can watch Opelika games online by going to NFHSnetwork.com. Set up an account, search for “OPELIKA HIGH SCHOOL” and look for “PRODUCED BY OPELIKA,” otherwise you will be asked to pay the fee. The Orthopedic Clinic paid the fee to allow all Opelika fans to watch at no charge.

OPELIKA’S ROY LEE JACKSON HEADED TO COLLEGE BASEBALL HOF

Opelika’s Roy Lee Jackson was among 12 players selected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame in the class of 2020. Jackson, who graduated from OHS in 1972, was drafted in MLB’s twelfth round the same year. Roy Lee faced a major decision: take the baseball scholarship offered by Tuskegee Institute College or play in the Minor leagues. After meeting with his mother and father about the positives and negatives of each, Jackson decided it was best to play at Tuskegee Institute. The decision paid dividends. Jackson finished his college career with a 22-9 record, 384 strikeouts in 251 innings, named All-Southern Athletic Conference Performer three years in a row, struck out 160 batters and earned a .098 era. The 160 strikeouts were the most by any pitcher in Division II. He was an offensive threat as well, hitting over .400 each year with a slugging percentage better than .700.

Jackson signed a free agent contract with the New York Mets in 1975, after graduating from Tuskegee. He played in the minors until he made his major league debut in 1977. Prior to being called up, Roy Lee earned 11 wins.

Jackson played in the MLB for 10 years. He played with the Mets, Blue Jays, Padres and Twins. He ended up with a 28-34 record and an ERA of 3.50 after pitching 559 innings. He struck out 351 batters and only allowed 50 home runs.

Roy Lee, his wife Mary and I have been friends for many years. Jackson appeared on my radio show “On the Mark” a few weeks ago to discuss his career and life. He is now serving God as a local Minister and continues to be humble.

Jackson said the most important people in his life were his mother and father. It’s obvious, God and family are one and two in his life. Roy Lee also praised his high school coach and mentor Larry Gore. Coach Gore has the same sentiment, calling Jackson one of his favorite players and friends. Roy Lee Jackson is a good person and earned his way to the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

I will never forget the night Roy Lee and Mary appeared in my room in Progressive Care at EAMC. It was a Friday night in the fall, I was transferred out of ICU after spending seven days in very serious condition. The visit meant so much to me!  Roy Lee and Mary prayed for me when they arrived and departed as I lay in the bed with my two daughters at my side. The two could have gone anywhere that night but decided to visit me. That is proof, he is a man of God who walks the walk.

CONGRATU­LA­TIONS ROY LEE! YOU AND MARY HAVE A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART!

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