By D. Mark Mitchell
Opelika (6-1, R-5-0) clinched the 6A Region 3 championship by beating Valley, 52-14, at Rams Stadium last Friday night.
The Region championship was the first one for OHS in seven years and the first for Coach Blackmon as head coach.
The Dawgs started fast, scoring the first TD in less than two minutes into the game. QB Mathew Christian found TJ Hamby in the end zone for a 4-yard TD pass. A two-point conversion made it 8-0.
Valley answered with a 1-yard run from Tra Williams for a touchdown with 7:19 left in first quarter.
Opelika then scored the next 35 points. TJ Hamby scored his second TD, Trey Ezell returned an interception 31 yards for a score, Hunter Weygand kicked a 34-yard field goal, Josh Johnson ran 1 yard for a TD, Kyle Fourtenbary caught a 24-yard TD pass, Josh Johnson scored on a 30 yard run and Caleb Florence caught a 12-yard pass from Jake Bentley.
Valley scored a late TD on a 4-yard run.
Coach Blackmon played every player that dressed out.
OPELIKA HOSTS CHILTON COUNTY
Opelika will play the last regular season home game of the season tonight against Region foe Chilton County.
The Tigers are 2-5 overall and 1-3 in Region play. The Bulldogs should have no trouble beating Chilton County tonight.
The Tigers will be outmanned, and that is not a cocky statement. This is the truth: we are the better team. OHS should be able to play everyone and rest the starters. This will help the Bulldogs heal some bumps and bruises.
Tonight will be Senior Night for football, band and cheerleaders.The ceremony will take place in the pre-game.
Tonight is also “Pink Out” night. Fans are encouraged to wear pink. The All-Sports Booster Club will be giving away 1,000 pink shakers.
LISTEN TO OPELIKA FOOTBALL AND WATCH ON THE WEB
Fans can listen to Opelika vs Chilton Co tonight on WKKR 97.7 KICKER FM or on the web at kickerfm.com ( click listen live). You can watch the game live on the web, as always.Go to www.thedawgnetwork.com and click the NFHS logo in the blue and red box. You can also go to Opelikaschools.org. You will need to join the website and choose which plan you want to purchase. Packages range from one game to a season.
The Opelika Cross Country teams competed in the “18th Auburn Tiger Classic.” OHS senior Ben Bryant won the championship with a time of 15:59.98. Teammate Kane Barrett came in fourth with a 16:28.61, Ben Garner was 12th running a 17:17.14, Kevin Lazenby was 17th running a 17:24.65 and Hayden Washburn finished 21 with a 17:46.13.
OHS will rest for the next two weeks while preparing for the Sections in Montgomery at Gateway Park.
The Bulldogs have a great chance of winning the State. Ben Bryant is currently ranked No. 1 in the state according the “Saucony XC top times.”
Four or five runners need to perform on a high level.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for Qantum Radio, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.