ON THE MARK
D. MARK MITCHELL
Opelika’s varsity football opened the 2022 season with a 29-28 win over Callaway (Georgia) in Troup County last Friday night. Trailing 28-21 with under four-minutes left in the game, Bulldog QB Roman Gagliano drove his team down the field before Calvin Hughley scored a TD. OHS head coach Erik Speakman decided to go for the two-point conversion to win the game. Gagliano thew a perfect pass to Tae Gay for the two-point conversion and a one-point victory (29-28) over CHS.
Opelika recorded 232 passing yards and 93 rushing yards for a total of 325 total yards. The Cavaliers rolled up 409 total yards behind a committed run game. Of Callaway’s 409 total yards, 169 were in the air and 240 were rushing yards.
Leading the Dogs in stats was Gagliano, who ended the game 13-of-18 for 232 yards and a touchdown. Caden Cooper had 76 receiving yards on four catches and scored a TD, and Hughley caught two passes for 84 yards.
Opelika (1-0) host Jeff Davis (0-1) Friday night, at 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium. The Volunteers lost, 10-27, at Wetumpka last Friday. OHS will make history Friday night, playing in their first 7A Region game since moving to the top class prior to the season.
Jeff Davis and Opelika have played 26 times, with JD holding a 14-12 record. The two teams have not played since 2013 and OHS holds a three-game win streak.
The first schedule released has Opelika going to Cramton Bowl in Montgomery to play JD, however this was an error. The Dogs will host Jeff Davis and travel to Montgomery next week to play RE Lee.
Tickets can be purchased at Bubba’s Medicine Shop and Victory Design until noon Friday. The Bulldog ticket office opens at 5:30 p.m. Friday. You can purchase online tickets at gofan.co
Fans can listen to the Opelika/Jeff Davis football game on WKKR 97.7 Kicker FM starting with the Pre-Game show at 6:30 p.m.
The city of Opelika started renovating Floral Park last week. Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller appeared on “On the Mark” last week, and talked about the upgrades after the city council voted to spend several millions of dollars on the outdated park.
“We are going to completely renovate and upgrade Floral Park,” Fuller said. “New synthetic turf will be installed in place of the two softball fields. This will allow more youth to have a place to practice football, baseball, T-ball and other sports. New pavilions and restrooms, along with a walking trail, among other things.”
Crews have already taken down the fences on the lower two fields, cut the trees and begun grading the land. No time was given on how long the project would take to be completed.
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 7 and Dixie Boys Baseball state director.