Opelika beats Park Crossing, finish with perfect Region Record

2020-10-23 Opelika 35 Park Crossing 7

On the Mark
By D. Mark Mitchell

The OHS Bulldog Football Team (7-2, R-7-0) beat Park Crossing (4-5, R-3-4) 35-7 last Friday at Bulldog Stadium.
Opelika is open this week and will prepare for a home playoff game on Friday, Nov. 6 against Helena or Wetumpka.
The Dawgs scored 21 first half points and 14 in the second half. The defense scored the first touchdown when Trevon Moore picked up a Thunderbird fumble and returned it four yards for a score with 2:50 left in the first quarter.
JD Tolbert ran 12 yards for the second touchdown with 9:20 left in the second quarter. Quarterback Malik Finley threw a 9-yard pass to Grady Bynum with 5 minutes left in the half. Baker Rowton made all three PAT’s.
Park Crossing’s DeMarcus Harris returned an interception 26 yards for their only score of the night. The PAT was good, making it 21-7 at halftime.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, but OHS added two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Tolbert scored his second touchdown on a 9-yard run with 11:16 left on the clock. Malik Finley threw his second touchdown pass to Grady Bynum, a 23-yarder to end the scoring. Rowton added both extra points, Making the score 35-7.
The Bulldogs outgained PC in total yards, 248 to 92. The Thunderbirds did not score on offense and only picked up three first downs.
Despite OHS playing tough defense, it’s worth mentioning PCHS played with its third-string quarterback. The starter suffered a season-ending injury early in the year. The second quarterback tragically died in an ATV accident after week 3.
Individual stats:
Malik Finley completed 13 of 27 passes for 156 yards.
JD Tolbert rushed for 68 yards on six attempts.
Eric Watts caught a pass for 53 yards.
Grady Bynum caught two passes for 41 yards and two touchdowns.
The entire defensive unit played well, led by Anthony Martin’s three solo tackles and eight assists.
Opelika punted only four times in the game.
OHS will host a first round playoff game Nov. 6 at Bulldog Stadium. The Dawgs will play either Helena or Wetumpka.
Helena host UMS-Wright Friday night. If the Huskies win, they will travel to Opelika for the playoff game. If UMS-Wright wins, Wetumpka will travel to Bulldog Stadium.
A reminder to fans, the playoffs are controlled by the Alabama High School Athletic Association not local schools. Attendance will be 33% capacity of the home stadium.
The AHSAA will send a link to every school in the playoffs Saturday, Oct. 31. The players, cheerleaders and band parents will receive a copy of the link and a code to purchase playoff tickets online at gofan.co. Parents must buy tickets before midnight Monday.
Remaining tickets will be available Tuesday morning online at www.gofan.co. No restrictions apply to those buying tickets. No stadium has reserved seating for playoffs and fans must follow COVID-19 guidelines. Masks are required and social distancing must be practiced.


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