By Fred Woods
The second-ranked Opelika Chiefs defeated the third-ranked Greater New Orleans Jaguars 36 – 6 last Saturday night in a lightening-shortened game. The win marked the completion of the regular season, giving the Chiefs a 9-1 regular season record, the same as American Conference leading Prattville, But, because the Patriots beat the Chiefs 29-28 in the Chiefs’ only loss of the season, the Patriots have the first-round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Playoffs start June 3. Due to make-up games this weekend, we don’t know the Chiefs’ first round opponent. However, the Chiefs will play at home for the first two games. Then, assuming the Chiefs and Patriots keep winning, Opelika will have to travel to Prattville for that game.
The Chiefs played well on both sides of the ball against the Jaguars. The offense was sharp with wide receiver Rodney Johnson having perhaps his best game of the season, catching three passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns, and showing some spectacular running after a couple of the catches.
Kyle Caldwell was on target with most of his throws, completing 9 of 13 passes for 237 yards and two TDs, both to Johnson.
Ki-Shawn Powell, TJ Griffin and Will McKenzie each scored rushing TDs, with TJ picking up 49 yards in six carries. Mike Eiland ran for 32 yards in five carries and contributed two 2-point conversions. Powell had the other two-pointer.
Greg Moss, Jamarlo Alford and LaDecker Johnson led the defense that, despite giving up a few long plays, was tough where it counted: near the goal line.