ON THE MARK
D. MARK MITCHELL
The Opelika High School varsity football team (2-2, R 2-0) forced five fumbles, intercepted three-passes and scored 21 points to beat Eufaula on Friday night, remaining unbeaten in region games. JT McArdle started at quarterback in place of injured Jackson Bates, and threw a 23-yard pass to Jayvontay Cooper for the first TD of the game. Kaden Cooper scored the second TD on an 8-yard run with 1:07 left in the second quarter. Calvin Hughley ran 16 yards for the Dogs last touchdown with 7:09 left in the game. (Gagliano added all three PAT’s, 21-0).
The biggest takeaway from the game was that the Bulldog defense recorded their first shutout of the season. Defensive back Jamaroun Satterwhite led the defense, recording 10 tackles, recovering two fumbles and adding one interception. Other players helping preserve the shuotout included: Jayden Stinson (intercepted two passes) and Tay Gay (recovered a fumble). George Meyers thwarted off a potential score, running down a Tiger player and tackling him at the the 2-yard line. The Opelika offense struggled, however, gaining only 139 yards.
The Bulldogs play Carver at Crampton Bowl in Montgomery, Thursday at 7 p.m. The Wolverines (2-1, R -2-0) lost to Enterprise in the opener, 12-28, beat Valley 29-14 and Park Crossing 27-12. CHS is led by first year head coach Marcus Gardner. Opelika lead the series 16-3, dating back to the first game in 1983. Carver’s three wins occurred in 1983 (6-0), 2010 (55-34) and 2012 (47-27). The Bulldogs have won the last four games, including 24-7 last season.
OHS played without 20-plus players last week. Opelika head coach Eric Speakman, appearing “On the Mark” radio show Friday morning, said several players could be out for the game against Eufaula, but did not elaborate.
An Opelika win would leave the Dogs as the only team in the region left undefeated and in perfect shape to win another title. Fans can listen to the Opelika versus Carver football game on WKKR 97.7 Kickerfm, online at kickfm.com or download the iHeartRadio app on your smartphone and search WKKR. The game will be live streamed on nfhsnetwork.com; set up an account and search for Opelika high school.
OHS CROSS COUNTRY TEAMS SET TO HOST “OPELIKA INVITATIONAL”
The Opelika High cross country teams will host the annual “Opelika Invitational” Saturday at the Sportsplex. The meet will start at 8 a.m. with varsity girls, followed by varsity boys at 8:40 a.m. and the middle school teams at 9:20 a.m.
The Opelika Invitational is open to the public.
Opelika competed in the “Fort Gilmmer Grind” at Central High School last Saturday.
Opelika’s Breckin Gould won the meet, running 22:49.62 in the 500-meter race. Two other Lady Bulldogs finished in the top ten: Poala Torres placed eighth with a time of 25:52.34 and Mary Evans Cooper placed 10th, running 26:20.77.
The OHS boys placed five runners in the top 20. Michael Hart was 10th (21:51.18), Conner Mullins 11th (21:58.66), Sam Kemp 15th (22:12.71), Zane Sexton 18th (22:52.21) and Peyton Weston placed 19th (11:52.21).
The two teams participated in the “AT&T Panther XC Meet” in Smiths Station two weeks ago. Opelika’s top finisher in the girls and boys meet was Breckin Gould, who placed ninth out of 200 runners. Gould ran a 19:30.02 in the 500-meter race and continues to dominate most cross country meets for OHS.
LEE COUNTY GAME OF WEEK
Two top-five 1A football teams will battle in Lee County this Friday at 7 p.m. as Loachapoka host Maplesville. This will draw statewide media attention because Maplesville is ranked No. 2 while ‘Poka is ranked No. 5 in the Alabama Sports Writers Poll.
D. Mark Mitchell is the sports director at iHeartMedia, host of “On the Mark” Fox Sports the Game 910-1310, co-chair of the Auburn-Opelika Sports Council, chairman of the Super 7and Dixie Boys Baseball state director.