Overtime field goal lifts Opp over Luverne
The lights at Glenn Daniel Stadium may have gone out prior to last night's season opener in Luverne, but it was a lot harder than flipping a switch for Opp to tame the hosting Tigers.
Senior place kicker Brock Kelley booted a 32-yard field goal to give the Class 4A Bobcats a 19-16 overtime win after missing the winning field goal with only a few ticks remaining in the fourth quarter.
"We played pretty good the first half and pretty sorry the second half," Opp Head Coach Johnny Wood said. "It was all coaching. I did a poor job the second half and Coach (Mike) Dubose who's been around the game a long time did a great job. I'm not taking anything away from their players. They've got an outstanding program."
Luverne lit up the scoreboard first after senior defensive lineman Daniel Brown stuffed junior Jaquez Henderson in the backfield for a safety. After one quarter of play, the Tigers were up 2-0.
It didn't take long for the Bobcats to retaliate Senior Jamoch Stallworth plowed his way from two yards out to cap off a 17-play drive and give Opp a 6-2 lead. Kelley's point after attempt was good giving the visitor's a 7-2 lead.
Opp scored on their next possession when senior running back Daniel Coleman darted 72 yard down Luverne's sideline for the score. This time the PAT was no good.
At the half, Opp led 13-2.
The Bobcats put the only points on the scoreboard in the third quarter when Kelley nailed a 39-yard field goal.
Midway through the fourth quarter the Tigers mounted their comeback.
Junior quarterback Ryan Brown riffled a 20-yard pass to junior receiver Rogerick Rutledge, who made a leaping catch to get Luverne in scoring position. Three plays later the Tigers scored when Ryan Brown connected with Rutledge once again on a seven-yard reception. Daniel Brown's point after kick was true to help cut into Opp's lead 16-9.
The Tigers forced the Bobcats to punt on their ensuing drive. Ryan Brown and Rutledge later connected on a clutch, 34-yard reception on third-and-10 to keep Luverne's comeback hopes a live. On the following play, sophomore running back Fred Hawkins bounced his way in the end zone from 13-yards out. Daniel Brown's PAT tied the game 16-16.
Hawkins gained good yardage on Luverne's first play in overtime, but Opp junior lineman Mitchell Schofield knocked the ball loose and the Bobcats recovered the fumble. The Tigers didn't make it easy on the Bobcats as they drove them back for losses play after play, but Kelley came up big for the visitors to give them the win.
"It was a good football game from a spectator's standpoint, but we made enough mistakes to lose five or six football games," Dubose said. "That was the most disappointing thing we didn't execute. I was proud of the way we came back and fought and got back in the football game, but I was very, very disappointed in the way we played from a fundamental standpoint and from an intelligence standpoint. We didn't play the game smart."
Luverne will travel to take on region foe Marbury at 7 p.m. tomorrow night in the Tigers' first region contest of the season. Opp will host Geneva.