By D. Mark Mitchell
Opelika High School, 2-1, defeated Carver 17-3 last Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.
Opelika’s stingy defense held the Wolverines to three points, a 35-yard field goal in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs scored 10 points in the first half.
Cade Blackmon threw an 11-yard pass to Omar Holloway for a touchdown. Tyler Sellers added the extra point and later a 37-yard field goal with 11:12 left in the second quarter.
Opelika’s last score came on a Justin Lewis 62-yard interception return for a TD.
Cade Blackmon went down in the second quarter with an injury. The junior exited the field with assistance from two trainers and never returned. He was on crutches, with no shoulder pads or helmet, the second half.
Junior Brody Davis replaced Blackmon at the quarterback position.
On a positive note, Cade Blackmon’s X-rays showed no fracture.
The Bulldog football team opens region play in Clanton Friday night against Chilton County High School.
The Tigers are 0-3, losing to Sylacauga 42-26, Jemison 21-20 and fellow region rival Helena 20-0.
Opelika and Chilton County have played each other each year since 2014.
The Bulldogs have outscored the Tigers 158-26 in the previous three meetings, including a 66-point performance in 2014.
Tal Morrison took over as head coach after Brian Bradford was hired to be the head football coach at Stanhope Elmore High School.
Chilton County has scored 46 points and allowed 83 points this season to date.
Opelika enters Friday’s game with several players nursing injuries. Over the last two games, the Bulldogs have not played with all 22 starters.
Look for Opelika to take control of the game early. The Bulldog defense is too good to allow the Tigers to mount drives.
The defense will allow the Opelika offense to get comfortable with the personnel changes.
Regardless of the injury to Cade Blackmon, Brody Davis will see significant time at quarterback.
No public comment has been made by Coach Ross concerning the injured players at press time.
This is a game Opelika should win.
I am not adding pressure to the players and coaches by the statement.
Coach Ross believes the same thing but understand you have to play the game.
Hopefully many players will play Friday night.
I predict Opelika will use this game to improve to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the region.
OHS VOLLEYBALL OPENS WITH SWEEP
The OHS volleyball team opened the 2017 season with a 3-1 win over Park Crossing in Montgomery.
The girls lost the first game 11-25 before winning the next three games, 25-16, 25-22 and 30-28.
Coach Robin Roberts, in her second year, continues to improve the program and create a tremendous amount of excitement.
Opelika travels to Smiths Station Sept. 14 for a tri-match with Harris County (Ga.) and Smiths Station.
BOTH OPELIKA MIDDLE SCHOOL TEAMS 2-0
The OMS seventh and eighth-grade football teams improved to 2-0 after both teams defeated Alex City.
The seventh-grade team shutout Alex City, 46-0.
QB Caleb Chisum had a terrific night, rushing for one touchdown and accounting for six points by completing three two-point conversion passes.
OMS defense was led by Will Garner, who recovered a fumble and returned a interception for six points.
The eighth-grade team shutout Alex City 24-0.
Jackson Bates threw touchdown passes to Jalin Aikens and Jarrell Stinson.
Stinson added a rushing TD behind the offensive line of Kyler Mitchell, Taylor Carswell, Najee Johnson, Dre Baker and Saun Laugkhot.
kicked all three extra points and added a field goal.
Both teams travel to Duck Samford Stadium Thursday to play Auburn.
The seventh-grade game starts at 5 p.m. and the eighth grade at 6:30 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.