Bobcats cage Panthers, 28-21

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

Opp won an exciting game against the visiting Geneva Panthers last night putting together a fourth-quarter drive to break and 21-21 tie.

The Opp Bobcats went on top 28-21 with 3:37 left in regulation and then turned it over to the defense.

Brock Kelley scored the game-winning touchdown on a five-yard blast. He then added the extra point for a 28-21 lead.

The game-winning drive showcased Opp's rushing attack with Jamocolis Stallworth cranking up the drive with a 15-yard powerful rush on the first play after a touchback from the Geneva kickoff.

Daniel Coleman failed to gain on the next play of the drive, but Stallworth got the ball on second down and rushed for a tough five yards. He got the ball again on third-and-five and powered through would-be tackles for a four-yard gain. The play was just short of a first down and Opp Head Coach Jeff Rhodes called a timeout to make sure the offense knew what to do.

They did.

The Bobcat offense cleared the way for Brock Kelley on a handoff from Coleman as he surged ahead six yards his legs pumping like pistons with his head lowered, punishing defenders.

Jaquez Henderson got the ball next as all of the workhorse running backs in Opp's stable got carries during the drive. Henderson gained seven yards. Stallworth added 10 on his next run and then broke free for 11 yards to move the ball down to the 21-yard line.

Coleman called his own number on first-and-10 from the 21 and dragged two defenders three yards with his head tilted back as high-stepped legs propelled him down field slowly and surely. He looked like a human tugboat before he finally docked at the five-yard line.

Kelley, however, took the boat to dry-dock with a five-yard run on the next play for the game-winning points. Kelley's touchdown gave Opp a 28-21 lead after he booted the extra-point with 3:37 left to play.

Geneva got the ball back, but Opp had an answer for the balanced Panthers' who had moved the ball up and down the field with the run and pass throughout the game.

The Opp stop unit came up big on a fourth-and-two play to force a turnover on downs with 1:08 remaining in the game.

Geneva took possession of the ball on the ensuing kickoff after Kelley gave Opp the lead. The kick return gave the Panthers good field position at midfield.

The Panthers moved the ball down to the Opp 19-yard line before being turned away on fourth-and-two. The Panthers came less than a yard short of a first down.

Inches cost the Panthers the possession of the ball with about one minute left in regulation and Opp's offense ran out the clock to secure a 28-21 win.

The game saw Opp score first and take a 7-0 lead with 3:51 left to play in the first quarter when Coleman scored on a short run. Kelley added the PAT.

It was 7-7 with 7:50 remaining in the first half when Josh Brownell scored on a 10-yard run for Geneva. The PAT made the score 7-7.

The Bobcats went back on top just before halftime when Jason Stanley hauled in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Coleman. Kelley once again added the PAT for a 14-7 lead.

Geneva scored first in the second half on a field goal by Brian Haney with 7:32 left in the third. His kick split the uprights to get the Panthers within four of the Bobcats at 14-10.

Henderson scored on a 37-yard touchdown run for the Bobcats with 6:46 left in the third to stretch Opp's lead to 21-10 after Kelley's PAT.

Geneva got within three points of the Bobcats with 36 seconds left in the third. Hagler Ward scored on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Robert Cox. The duo hooked up again for a two-point conversion to cut Opp's lead to 21-18.

Geneva tied the score at 21-21 when Haney kicked his second field goal of the night. He split the uprights from 30-yard out with 7:54 left in the fourth quarter.

Opp went back on top 28-21 with 3:37 left when Kelley scored on a five-yard run. His PAT was also good.