Opp Bobcats knock off No. 7 Daleville

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 3, 2003

The Opp Bobcats, which were picked as the underdogs for Friday night's game, fought both heavy rain and one of the toughest 4A teams in the state, the Daleville Warhawks. But, in the end, the Bobcats came out of the muddy battle on top 30-13.

Home-turf advantage certainly didn't hurt the Bobcats, but the team used more than just the crowd to pull them through the game. In fact, the rain drove many Opp fans away. Those who endured the wet stuff, however, witnessed a great running and defensive team in the Bobcats.

After Daleville scored a touchdown during their first possession, Opp's quarterback Daniel Coleman answered the call with a 70-yard run into the end zone. A failed two-point conversion attempt, however, left the Bobcats short of matching Daleville's score, trailing 7-6.

Daleville was forced to punt during their next drive, and Opp capitalized on the situation. Running back Jamocolis Stallworth broke free for a 20-yard run for a touchdown. Opp got the two-point attempt and now led 14-7.

Daleville's running back fumbled during their next possession, which left the Bobcats in great field position. Stallworth, along with great blocks from the offensive line, was able to run the ball for about 60 more yards in three plays for another touchdown. Another successful two-point attempt pushed Opp's lead to 22-7 with minutes remaining until halftime. Daleville was pressed to get their offense moving again.

The next drive proved the Warhawk's determination to be a contender in the game. Three unsuccessful downs and two penalties later they would go for it; it was a gamble they would pay for, though. On fourth down and about 20 yards to go, a high snap resulted in a safety. Opp was ahead 24-7 at halftime.

The second half was a different story for Opp's offense. Although they were able to continue running the ball, the Warhawk defense was reading the runs better. Daleville's running game improved during the second half, but still wasn't enough to catch up. Penalties and turnovers didn't help the hawks, either.

A punt return by Daleville into the end zone shortened Opp's lead to 24-13. However, the Bobcats quick touchdown on the next drive hurt the War Hawks' hopes for a recovery. A long pass to receiver Tyrell Hunter set up a another Stallworth touchdown, which would be the final score of the game.

Opp Head Coach Jeff Rhodes was happy with his team's overall performance.

"I'm proud of this team and the way they played tonight," he said. "We're right where we need to be as a team in the season."