Central dominates Opelika 63-28


By D. Mark Mitchell

Central (4-1) rolled up 663 yards of offense to a 63-28 victory over Opelika last Friday night on Wayne Trawick Field at Garrett-Harrison Stadium in Phenix City.
The Red Devils only used 84 seconds to score their opening touchdown. Opelika answered, with quarterback Brody Davis throwing a 44-yard touchdown pass to Omar Holloway with seven minutes left in the first quarter. Baker Rowton successfully booted the PAT to tie the game 7-7.
Central started separating behind the passing attack, throwing for more than 250 yards and scoring 35 more first-half points. Red Devils running back Rick McKay scored on a one-yard run and Peter Jakes caught three TD passes for TDs (of 64, 11 and 14 yards).
Opelika’s second TD was the result of one-yard run by Omar Holloway.
Central led 42-14 at halftime and scored 21 points in the second half, the last TD coming with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Opelika added two scores, as star running back Eric Watts sprinted 69yards for a TD and Jarrell Stinson sprinted 79 yards on a kickoff return for the game’s final score. Rowton hit all three extra points.
Central won its fourth straight and scored more points, 63, over Opelika in 40-plus years. The Red Devils will be the BEST team Opelika will play this season. The non-conference loss dropped the Bulldogs to 4-1 overall but maintained their perfect 2-0 mark in region play.
Opelika has the week off before playing their final four games of the regular season. Region foes Benjamin Russell (2-3) and Calera (1-3) travel to Bulldog Stadium. The Bulldogs travel to Millbrook to play Stanhope Elmore in the final region game before returning home for Vigor on Oct. 26. The Bulldogs schedule is set up with the tougher games in the first half of the season. Opelika should win the next four games and host a first-round playoff game.
The OHS Volleyball team is 5-6 through 11 matches. The girls beat Handley, Troup County twice, Sylacauga and Beauregard. Coach Robin Roberts’ Lady Bulldogs host Smiths Station on Sept. 25 at 4:30 p.m. in the OHS Mainstreet Gym.
Opelika’s cross country team will host the Opelika Invitational Cross Country Meet on Sept. 28 at the Sportsplex. Fifteen schools will race in the meet, starting at 8:30 a.m.
The boys won the Huntington Invitational behind four top-10 finishers including Chas Baker’s first-place finish. The girls finished in the top five behind Breckin Gould’s first-place finish.
Opelika’s cross country team will run in the Jesse Owens Classic Oct. 5, Smiths Station on Oct. 12 and the Tiger Classic at Kiesel Park in Auburn.
The sectional meet will be held either Oct. 31 or Nov. 1. The state meet will take place Nov. 11 at Oakville.
Opelika High School’s freshman team team traveled to LaGrange to battle the Grangers on their home soil.
The young Bulldogs kicked off to LaGrange to start the game and the Grangers were quick to move the ball down the field, but the Bulldog defense decided that they would bow up, stuffing the Grangers’ drive by forcing a turnover on downs deep inside Opelika territory.
The Bulldogs would take advantage of the Grangers turnover when quarterback Bryce Speakman airmailed a beautiful pass to Da’Vion Johnson, who was streaking all alone down the Opelika sideline. The pass would turn out to be an 84-yard touchdown pass. The ensuing point-after try was no good.
As the second quarter began, the Bulldog defense stuffed LaGrange’s next possession and and proceeded to drive for a second score. Running back Kaden Cooper carried the Bulldogs down the field, eventually scoring. George Meyers kicked the PAT to give Opelika a 13-0 lead that they would carry to halftime break. 
The Bulldogs received the ball to open the second half, a drive that would stall out and end with a punt. The Grangers felt good about the stop and gained a little momentum.
Opelika’s defense gave up a six-play drive that resulted in a Grangers TD. The Bulldogs jumped offside on the PAT attempt so they decided to go for the two-point conversion, which was unsuccessful.
On the ensuing Grangers kickoff, Jarrious “Lil J” Goodman fielded the ball at the Bulldogs’ 15-yard line, busted through the beautiful wedge in front of him and dashed 85 yards for a score. The PAT was good and Opelika’s lead was extended to 14 points.
The Grangers didn’t have any quit in them as they proceeded to march 73 yards in two plays for the score on the very next drive. The PAT was good, cutting Opelika’s lead to seven.
The Bulldogs would take the next drive 73 yards. The drive stalled at the Grangers’ 11-yard line, and Coach Tommy Traylor sent George Meyers in to attempt his first-ever field goal as a high school kicker from 28 yards. The kick was good, giving Opelika a 10-point lead that they would not relinquish.
Opelika’s freshman team will travel to Central of Phenix City next Monday to take on the Freshman Red Devils. Kickoff is set for 6:30 E.S.T., 5:30 p.m. central.
D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.


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