Opp wins over Alabama Christian 26-13

Published 1:49 am Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Opp Bobcats recovered from a first quarter deficit with a number of key interceptions in the second quarter to claim their second Class 4A, Region 2 victory with a 26-13 win over the visiting Alabama Christian Academy Eagles Friday night.

Opp coach Jack Whigham said that the win placed his team in a good position within the region.

“It is big to be 2-0 in the region,” he said. “Right now we do not have to depend on how other teams play. We sort of control our own destiny. As long as we can stay ahead in the region it is good for us.”

Both teams struggled for yardage in the first quarter, but an Opp fumble placed ACA on the Bobcats’ 29-yard line with 4:02 remaining on the clock. The Eagles pushed into the end zone with a series of runs to take a 7-0 lead with less than three minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Opp responded quickly in the second quarter with a completed pass to earn field position on the Eagles’ 39-yard line with 10:25 remaining in the first half.

Richard Davis carried to the Eagles’ 30-yard line on the following snap and ACA earned a personal foul, which advanced the Bobcats to the ACA 18 with 9:27 remaining in the first half.

A series of unsuccessful snaps left the Bobcats fourth-and-15 on the Eagles’ 15-yard line with less than eight minutes remaining in the first half, but a fourth down pass interference by ACA provided a fresh start for Opp. Davis sealed the drive with a 11-yard run to place the Bobcats at first and goal and Quadir Kincaid claimed the touchdown on the following snap. The extra point was good and the score was tied 7-7 with less than six minutes remaining in the first half.

Whigham said the momentum definitely shifted in Opp’s direction after Britt Wilson’s interception during the final minutes of the first half.

“We had just scored and for him to get an interception was definitely a big change in momentum for us,” he said. “Our defense played outstanding.”

Wilson intercepted a pass intended to place ACA well into Bobcat country and carried the ball to the Eagles’ 20-yard line before being tackled. Davis picked up a 6-yard run to place the Bobcats on the Eagles’ 14-yard line, Kincaid carried to first and goal on the ACA 5-yard line and Davis finished the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run. The extra point was good and the Bobcats took a 14-7 lead with 4:13 remaining in the first half.

An ACA kickoff return fumble, recovered by Opp’s Josh Thompson, provided the Bobcats’ field position on the Eagles’ 41-yard line with four minutes remaining. Opp capitalized on the opportunity, pushing deep into Eagle territory with carries by Davis and Kincaid. Josh Scarbrough finished the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run. The extra point was blocked by the Eagles and Opp entered halftime with a comfortable 20-7 lead.

According to Whigham, Opp responded well after quarterback Gavin Free’s ankle injury in the first half of Friday night’s region matchup.

“We didn’t play very well up front defensively, which is my fault,” he said. “I thought (second string quarterback) Daniel (Langford) and (reserve kicker) Adrian (Austin) did an excellent job running our offense when Gavin got hurt.

“I have just got to get better every week and I will continue to get better and make our kids better,” he added. “I am just proud of how hard our kids played. They played hard all night.”

The Bobcats earned their fourth touchdown of the night after a 4-yard run by Davis in the fourth quarter. A two-point conversion attempt failed and Opp took a 26-7 lead with 9:48 remaining in the game.

The Eagles issued a late response with a 15-yard touchdown pass with 1:19 remaining. Opp’s Josh Dunn shut down ACA’s two-point conversion pass attempt with an interception to seal the Bobcats’ 26-13 region win.