Straughn still undefeated

Published 1:40 am Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Class 3A, Region 1 Straughn Tigers relied on their running game to continue an undefeated season and claim a 35-20 victory over the visiting Class 4A, Region 2 Opp Bobcats during Friday night’s non-region county rival showdown.

Straughn head football coach Trent Taylor said he is proud to be undefeated, but his main concern is the region games that lie ahead.

“I told coach (Ray) Wilson during the third quarter that we would love to go 5-0, but what happens in week 6, 7, 8 and 9 are more important than tonight,” he said. “I think that is what we got tonight. We just kind of dug down and I cannot say enough about our offensive line. Once we got the lead we just continued running the ball. I believe we threw the ball less tonight than we have thrown in three years.”

Opp (3-2) stacked up 172 offensive yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Josh Scarbrough led the Bobcats offensively during the first half with 12 carries for 104 yards and one touchdown. Quadir Kincaid delivered four carries for 37 yards and one touchdown.

Taylor said that the first quarter was a bit of a wake up call for his team of Tigers.

“I have to give Opp a lot of credit,” he said. “They came out and busted us in the mouth to start with. There were not a whole lot of adjustments to be made in the second quarter. We just had to execute. Opp was doing a better job executing offensively than we were defensively in the first quarter.”

Straughn (5-0) delivered 170 yards and two touchdowns, but trailed the Bobcats by one point at halftime due to a failed extra point attempt. Andrew Stokes led the Tigers in offense with seven carries for 60 yards and quarterback Ryne Taylor delivered five carries for 34 yards and one touchdown in the first half.

Opp head football coach Jack Whigham said Straughn claimed the night by claiming the majority of the Friday night’s snaps.

“We played hard, but (Straughn) is very good offensively,” he said. “We did not control the ball as well as we should. When we couldn’t control the ball in the second half it put our defense on the field for an awful long time.

Opp picked up the first touchdown of the night with a 3-yard run by Scarbrough with 4:13 remaining in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead. After deep alternating rushing efforts by both Kincaid and Scarbrough, the Bobcats found themselves within scoring distance at the top of the second quarter and Kincaid finished the effort with a 16-yard touchdown run with 11:08 remaining the first half.

Straughn wasted little time with its response, with a 35-yard touchdown run by Andrew Stokes to reduce Opp’s lead to 14-6 with 10:19 remaining. The Tigers raked in their final touchdown of the first half with a short run by Taylor. The extra point was no good and Opp retained a narrow 14-13 lead at the half.

According to Whigham, Straughn’s defense increased the volume in the second half.

“They just began putting so many people in the box and sending them on blitz,” he said. “We just could not pick them all up. We gave them a short field on the punt and they got a little momentum going.”

Eric Samuel delivered Straughn’s third touchdown of the night with a 15-yard touchdown run at the 4:48 mark of the third quarter. Taylor hit C.J. Christopher for a two-point conversion and a 21-14 Straughn lead.

An Opp fumble placed Straughn within striking distance on the Bobcat 41-yard-line in the final seconds of the third quarter. Alternating rushing efforts by Taylor, Stokes and Eric Madden earned the Tigers a comfortable spot on Opp’s 13-yard-line with 8 minutes remaining in the game. Samuel finished the drive with a 13-yard touchdown carry and a 35-14 lead.

The Bobcats tacked on one additional touchdown with a 17-yard carry by Richard Davis. The extra point was no good, giving Straughn a 35-20 win.