Opelika secures Region 3 title Friday


By D. Mark Mitchell

The Opelika High School football team (7-1 overall, 5-0 in region play) beat Stanhope Elmore 38-14 at Foshee-Henderson Stadium in Millbrook last Friday, earning the Bulldogs the Region 3 Championship. OHS has won or tied for the region championship each year since 2014 when the 7A classification was formed.
The Mustangs took an early lead when linebacker Anthony Toby intercepted a Opelika pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown fewer than four minutes into the game. The PAT was good, giving Stanhope Elmore a 7-0 lead. Opelika answered, with Brody Davis throwing a 28-yard TD pass to Jamius Mitchell.
Baker Rowton added the PAT, tying the game at 7-7. The Opelika defense would not allow Stanhope Elmore to run the football and establish anything offensively.
Opelika added another TD after Brody Davis ran 52 yards down to the Stanhope 2-yard line. Erik Watts scored on the next play, plunging in from two yards out. Rowton added the PAT for a 14-7 lead.
Place kicker Marshall Meyers extended the Bulldog lead by kicking a 41-yard field goal in the second quarter 17-7 at halftime.
The Bulldogs continued to control the game in the second half, adding three scores in the third quarter to end any thought of a Mustangs’ comeback. Omar Holloway caught a 58-yard TD pass from Davis, Mitchell added his second TD on a 2-yard run and Zack Collins scored the last points on a 43-yard TD run. Rowton added all three PATs.
Stanhope scored a TD with 11 minutes left in the game on an 11-yard run. The two teams used the running game the rest of the game in order to keep the clock running.
The Bulldogs host the Vigor Wolves (4-4) Friday at Bulldog Stadium in the last regular season game. Opelika will celebrate “Senior night” prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff. Opelika recognizes seniors in the band, on the football team and cheerleaders. Vigor enters the game on a two-game losing streak with losses to Faith Academy and Citronelle. The Wolves also lost to Blount and Jackson. Vigor defeated Wilcox Central, Satsuma, Murphy and LeFlore.
Vigor has scored 148 points while yielding 135 points. Compare that to Opelika’s 239 points scored and 136 points allowed. The Wolves are in Class 5A and both teams have no common opponents. Vigor played for the 5A State Championship last year but this year’s team is totally different.
Look for Opelika to honor the seniors with a good win and finish with an 8-1 regular season record heading into the playoffs. The Bulldogs have an open week prior to hosting a first-round playoff game on Nov. 1.
Opelika Volleyball team (12-7) played in area tournament Tuesday night in Alexander City at Benjamin Russell High School, but no results were available at press time. The Lady Bulldogs play Russell County at 4:30 p.m. The winner advances to play Benjamin Russell in the finals. The top-two teams advance to the state playoffs.
Opelika’s cross country teams ran in the “Auburn Tiger Classic” last weekend at Keisel Park. The girls were led by sophomore Breckin Gould’s fifth-place finish, with a time of 20:03.80. Opelika’s Chas Brewer (freshman) 26th-place finish was the highest for the boys.
The Opelika Parks and Recreation is considering having a 13 to 15-year-old baseball league for travel teams or anyone wanting to put a team in the league. The league is similar to Dixie Boys but teams will pay a “league-entry fee” to participate in the league which plays its games during the week.
Those interested can contact D.Mark Mitchell at foxonthemark@yahoo.com, Melissa Martin at mmartin@opelika-al.gov or by calling 334-705-5560.
The Opelika freshman football team defeated Valley 27-22 in Valley Monday night. The Bulldogs started the scoring, setting up the TD with a pass to George Meyers covering 40 yards. Kaden Cooper scored a rushing touchdown the next play. Meyers added the PAT to help Opelika lead 7-0.
Opelika scored two more TD’s on runs for Meyers and Cooper. They extended the lead to 21-6.
The Freshman Dawgs scored another TD in the second half while the Rams added two scores. J.C. Perry was named defensive player of game, Cooper earned offensive award.
The win ended the Freshman team’s season at 6-2
D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.


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