Strange scheduling scenario is a rarity

Published 1:24 am Friday, October 30, 2009

It only took about five minutes of talking with an Opp fan two weeks ago to realize that Andalusia and Opp would be facing each other two weeks in a row.

That strange scheduling scenario was confirmed last Friday night when Opp defeated Montgomery Catholic on the road and Ashford beat St. James, which gave the Bobcats the Class 4A, Region 2 title.

That region title meant that the No. 4 seed in Region 1 — Andalusia — was going to have to travel to Opp in the first round of the playoffs. The two teams also meet Friday in the final regular season game of the year.

It’s definitely something to pause and think about and it’s something I have never encountered before in my short span in sports.

The Alabama High School Football Historical Society’s Web site indicates that Andalusia and Opp have been meeting since Nov. 22, 1945.

The Bulldogs claimed the first victory with an 18-6 win; and two years later, Opp claimed its first win.

To break it down a little bit more, Andalusia and Opp have each won and lost 30 games apiece, with three games ending in a tie.

At the top of that long list of matchups on the Web site, you will find two games — both dated “2009” and both still yet to be played.

This is a pretty significant game for both teams.

“We need to end the regular season on a positive note so that it will give us confidence going into the playoffs,” Opp coach Jack Whigham said Tuesday. “We need to play well this Friday night and next week is our first round playoff game. Obviously, the significance of that is if you don’t win that game, you’re done.”

Andalusia coach Brian Seymore said winning this Friday night would give his team a big boost heading into next week’s first round of the state playoffs.

“It’s a significant game for us because winning the game on Friday would ensure us a winning record,” Seymore said. “One of our goals was having a winning record and making the playoffs. That’s how important it is to us.

“I guess it’s very uncommon to play them in this type of situation,” he said. “We have to play them on back-to-back weeks. I’ve talked to a bunch of coaches that have called me and they’ve asked me what do you do in this scenario. I just say, ‘We’re going to go out there and play the game of football.’”

That’s what fans from both communities will see from both teams as they meet for the 64th time in both schools’ history.

I can almost hear the bell ringing for the start of “Andalusia vs. Opp: Round 1.”