Opp enters tomorrow night’s contest 4-3 overall, and 3-2 in Class 3A, Region 1. The Bobcats will try to win one of the next two games to try for a playoff berth. | File photo

Bobcats to play ‘good’ W.S. Neal Friday night

Published 12:02am Thursday, October 18, 2012

Opp head football coach Jack Whigham said he realized early on that W.S. Neal was going to be a good football team this season.

And he’s got a good reason to think that way.

The Eagles are No. 9 in Class 3A and are sporting a 6-1 overall record. Their only blemish came against Straughn in a 36-30 loss.

“They were a very tough team from the start,” Whigham said.

Whigham said W.S. Neal has two players who play on both sides of the ball.

“They’re really, really big and physical,” he said. “They’re just maximizing people offensively and run a tight formation.”

W.S. Neal doesn’t throw the ball a lot, but is more of a running team, the coach said.

“They’re pounding people on the inside, and they’ll break one for a long run if they have to,” Whigham said.

Opp (4-3, 3-2) is coming off of a 45-0 region win over Cottage Hill last week. The Eagles beat Bayside Academy 44-42.

Whigham said if his team wins one of the next two region games, then there is a “90 percent” chance the Bobcats will make the playoffs.

“If we beat Neal, then we’re one step closer to the playoffs, and that’ll probably set up a big game against Straughn next week,” he said. “We haven’t looked at the region picture. The way I look at it, is that if we win the next two games, then everything will take care of itself.”

Whigham said the Admirals game told him that the Eagles run a “dangerous” offense.

One dangerous player for W.S. Neal is senior running back Marquese Banks.

Whigham said he has a build you don’t normally see on a runner.

“He’s really big and looks like he weighs 210 pounds,” he said. “He’s hard to tackle.”

To get prepared for such a physical W.S. Neal team, Whigham said he’s had to step it up a notch at practice this week.

“You’ve just got to have physical practices yourself,” he said. “We had good practices Monday and Tuesday.

“Defensively, our players have got to sacrifice themselves this week,” he said. “They’ve got to get low and stay low.”

The game plan is set in place for the game, Whigham said.

“The players know what they need to do to win the game,” he said. “It’s going to take 48 minutes to win the game.

“We’ve got a good game plan defensively and I think on offense if we mix the run and pass, we’ll have a chance to be in it. In the end, that’s all you can as for.”

Kick off at Buddy Taylor Field in Brewton is at 7 p.m. on Friday.

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