ON THE MARK
D. MARK MITCHELL
Opelika’s girls’ cross country team finished eighth and the boys finished 13th in the Alabama High School Athletic Association 6A Cross Country State Meet in Oakville last Saturday.
Breckin Gould was Opelika’s top runner, finishing 14th in the state. The remaining team members finished as follows: Joanne Smith T (74th), Violett Alcorn (77th), Mary Evans Cooper (79) Margaret Bice (80th), Paola Torres (85th), Jasmine Jordan (113th), Susan Gaston (123rd), Carlie Moates (153rd) and Kiley Brooks (191st).
The OHS boys were lead by Chas Brewer, who finished 25th in the AHSAA boys 6A State meet. Remaining runners and position: Conner Mulliins (82nd), Brantley Turnham (97th), Michael Hart (114th), Trey White (124th), Preston Weston (130th), Sam Kemp (138th), Zane Sexton (140th), Mitch McCullough (147th) and Zalen Shaw (178th).
OHS senior, Breckin Gould led the girls’ cross country since she was in OMS. Congratulations on leading the Lady Bulldog XC Opelika High team. Best to you in track and field.
OHS FLAG FOOTBALL TEAM CELEBRATES SENIOR NIGHT, WINS TWO GAMES
The Opelika High flag football team defeated Northside (12-6) and Booker T Washington (33-2) last Thursday on senior night.
OHS beat Northside 12-6 in the first game of the doubleheader. Quarterback Morgan Watts threw a pass 55 yards to Haley Sanders for the first touchdown. Sanders caught her second TD pass of the game to secure the win for the Bulldogs.
Northside scored one touchdown to make it close, but OHS held on for its 10th win.
In game two, OHS beat Booker T Washington, 33-2, after honoring the seven seniors who play both on offense and defense for the inaugural team. Opelika’s first score was the result of a 14-yard run by Sanders. Ashanti Thomas, Nyi Walton, Cheridi Daniels and Ashley Hilyer scored touchdowns in the game.
With the victories, the girls improved to 11-1 on the year, with two games remaining on the schedule. OHS travelled to Calloway Wednesday night, results were not available at press time.
OHS FOOTBALL BEAT NORTHRIDGE, HOST SPANISH FORT IN SECOND ROUND GAME
The OHS football team (8-3) beat Northridge (7-4), 45-20, last Friday night at Bulldog Stadium. Opelika was spurred to victory by an explosive offensive performance. The Bulldogs scored seven touchdowns, six covering over 40 yards. Quarterback Roman Gagliano connected on two touchdown passes, 55 yards to Shawn Jones, and 41 yards to Jayvontay Conner. Kaden Cooper scored two rushing TD’s covering 59 yards and 43 yards, and Ole Miss commit Jarell Stinson ran 59 yards for a score. Calvin Hughley scored the last TD on a 4-yard run. Charles Gagliano added seven PAT’s.
Opelika’s individual stats: Roman Gagliano went 9-for-14 for 200 yards and 2 TD’s; Jamari Thomas rushed 12 times for 134 yards; Kaden Cooper had five carries for 128 yards; and Shawn Jones caught three passes for 11 yards.
Defensively, Will Garner recored a team-high seven tackles, Brenton Williams had six tackles and Bryce Speakman added an interception.
The Bulldogs now advance to the second round of the 6A AHSAA Playoffs, hosting Spanish Fort Friday night at Bulldog Stadium. Opelika is 1-2 against SFHS all time, losing 21-13 in third round of playoffs in 2015, winning 21-17 in the third round in 2016 and losing 27-24 in the playoff semi-finals in 2019. All three games were played in Spanish Fort.
The Toro’s (10-1) opened the season with a 21-10 win over Fairhope, defeated St Pauls in week two, 42-7, Gulf Shores 42-21, Robertsdale 38-7, Baldwin County 27-7, Blount 34-26, Citronelle 60-10, McGill-Toolen 31-17 and Calera 41-31. Saraland was the only team to beat SPHS in the regular season, 28-16.
This will be the first trip to Bulldog Stadium for Spanish Fort. Head coach Ben Blackmon is in his seventh season with a 77-17 record overall.
The winner of this game will play the winner of Hueytown and Robert E Lee.
Fans can purchase tickets online at gofan.co, for $10.00 plus $1.50 service-charge. No ticket can be purchased at the gate.
The game will air on WKKR 97.7 Kicker fm, beginning at 6:30 with pre-game coverage. You can listen online at kickerfm.com
OHS GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Lady Bulldog basketball team lost its season opener, 60-40, last Saturday at Park Crossing. Haley (who plays quarterback for the flag football team) led the offense with 17 points, while Erica Mathews added nine points. First year head coach, Blake Smalley, has held three practices with his entire team. Some of the players were involved in fall sports.
According to Maxpreps, the girls’ team plays again on Nov. 16 at Smiths Station.
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.