By D. Mark Mitchell
The Opelika Bulldogs (4-3 overall, 2-1 in region) defeated homecoming opponent Helena 42-14 Friday night at Bulldog Stadium. The Huskies took an early 7-0 lead after taking the opening drive 73 yards for a touchdown. The Dawgs then flexed their muscles, scoring 42-straight points before Helena added another score late in the fourth quarter.
The offense was led by sophomore quarterback Brody Davis’s 260 passing yards, Brantan Barnett’s 161 rushing yards and Jorden Heard’s 8 receptions for 108 yards.
After yielding a touchdown on their opening drive, the Opelika defense played solidly. The Huskies were held scoreless after the opening drive until late in the fourth quarter.
OHS head football coach Caleb Ross said he was pleased with his team’s victory during his postgame radio show.
“I am happy for my team. These kids come to practice and work hard every day,” Ross said. “We needed something good to happen. Tonight was a good night.”
Ross added that it is important for his team to move on from the victory and prepare themselves for a crucial three-game stretch against region opponents.
“It is important our guys know we can finish second if we win out, possible first if Benjamin Russell loses. Opelika controls our destiny, which is good,” Ross said. “Due to the injuries, we have played more kids this season than expected. This will help us moving forward.”
OHS travels to Chelsea Friday night for a key region game. The Hornets are 0-6 overall, losing to Oak Mountain 21-10, Briarwood 19-7, Wetumpka 44-22, Benjamin Russell 27-0, Pelham 36-23 and Gardendale 41-28. Last Friday, Chelsea was on a bye week.
As you can tell, Opelika should win this game. The Bulldogs can wrap up a playoff spot with a win and remain in contention for a home-playoff game.
Through six games, the Hornets have yielded 188 points while only scoring 90. Chelsea head football coach Chris Elmore is in his fifth season, and has a 25-23 overall record.
LISTEN TO OHS FOOTBALL ON WKKR 97.7 KICKER FM
Fans can listen to OHS vs Chelsea Friday night on WKKR 97.7 KICKER FM, online at kickerfm.com or download the “I-Heart Radio app” on their smart phone. The broadcast starts at 6:30 p.m. with the Coach Caleb Ross Pre-game show. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Former OHS Coach Larry Gore and former OHS quarterback Jeff Sasser will provide color commentary. Mason Black reports from the sidelines and I will handle the play-by-play.
The OHS girls and boy’s cross-country teams participated in the Jessie Owens Classic in Oakville, Ala. over the weekend.
Savannah Karl, who finished 49th, was the top finisher for the girls with a time of 21:42.89. Jhenny Hoover finished 172nd while teammate Blake Bell placed 235th.
The boys were led by Geoffrey Crisler, who placed 124th with a time of 18:50.66. Tykell Jones was 161st, Benjamin Estes finished 220th, Samuel Cowart placed 225th, Wesley Molding placed 252nd, Jacob Walker placed 272nd and Jack O’Quinn 294th.
Both teams will run in the Tiger Classic at Keisel Park Oct. 21. The sectional meet will be in Auburn Nov. 11.
BOTH OPELIKA MIDDLE SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAMS UNDEFEATED
The OMS seventh-grade football team defeated Central-Phenix City Middle School 14-12 at Bulldog Stadium last Thursday night. Quarterback Caleb Chisum threw one TD pass and rushed for another. Kaden Cooper caught a touchdown pass and scored a two-point conversion.
Jake Smith recovered a fumble and helped the defense stop Phenix City on a two-point conversion attempt preserve the win.
The OMS 8th-grade team beat CPCMS 40-7 at Bulldog Stadium. Jackson Bates threw three touchdown passes. Tre Roberts caught two and Killian Massey caught the other.
Jarell Stinson rushed for 162 yards and three scores. Charles Gagliano handled kickoff duties and made all of his extra-point attempts.
The defense was outstanding, and was led by Taylor Love, Tylik Hambrick, Tae Hardnett and Jackson McLeod. Jaden Mchee added an interception
OMS will host Prattville at Bulldog Stadium Thursday. The 7th-grade team kicks off at 5 p.m.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.