Bulldogs defeat Panthers 24-0

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The Opelika Bulldogs (2-1, r-1-1) shut out the Smiths Station Panthers (1-2, r-0-1), 24-0 last Friday night.

The Dawgs played inspiring and aggressive football to dominate Smiths Station on both offense and defense. The Panthers’ first two rushing attempts gained a total of 62 yards, but for the rest of the game Smiths Station had a total of 85 yards. The Bulldogs controlled both lines of scrimmage and the game, but could not get on the scoreboard until late in the first half when OHS pinned SSHS inside the five-yard line and forced the Panthers to punt from their one-yard line. The Dawgs took over possession around the Smiths’ 45-yard line.

D’marious Howard had back-to-back runs of 10 and 15 yards. Quarterback Calvin Bryant (who sat out the first quarter due to a private team issue) faked a handoff inside and ran around left-end for a 12-yard touch down. Will Black added the PAT to make the score 7-0. The Opelika defense, with the judicious use of timeouts, got the ball back with 50 seconds left in the half. Using a combination of Bryant’s legs and arm, Opelika took a 14 -0 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Calvin started the drive by scrambling for 18 yards. On the next play, he threw a perfect 44-yard pass to Braden Rogers to put OHS at the one-yard line. Two quarterback sneaks later and Opelika led 14-0 at halftime. (Will Black added the PAT).

OHS received to start the second half and drove down the field where Will Black kicked a 34-yard field goal, making it 17-0. The last score by Opelika came at the end of the third quarter when DeMarious Howard ran four yards for a touchdown and Will Black added his third PAT of the game to make it 24-0. Opelika’s leading rushers were Bryant with 71 yards, Howard with 56 yards and Cameron Hill with 44 yards.

Head coach Brian Blackmon was pleased with his team’s performance.

“We played a lot more consistent on defense and we are improving on offense. It was a workman-like win, we knew it would be a four-quarter football game because Smiths Station never quits,” said Blackmon, during his post game show.

Brian had a tough week. On top of preparing his team for Smiths Station after losing to Central, his grandmother passsed away Tuesday morning. The funeral was Friday morning in Montgomery.

Coach Blackmon, we are sorry for your loss. May your grandmother rest in peace.

Opelika is off tonight and will travel to Stanley-Jenson Stadium in Prattville to take on the Lions in a non-region game next Friday night. The team used this week to heal bumps and bruises and to get ready for a tough stretch of games, at Prattville, Dothan and at Enterprise, before coming home for the final three games: Northview (HC), Auburn and Parker.

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