Bobcats fall to Jackson, 45-13, in 2nd round

Published 1:37 am Saturday, November 14, 2009

OPP — Jackson’s Damion Bracy rushed for 157 yards on 19 carries and had three touchdowns to help lead his team to the Class 4A quarterfinals with a 45-13 rout over Opp Friday night at Channel-Lee Stadium.

“My team played hard,” Opp coach Jack Whigham said. “The score wasn’t indicative of the game.”

Bracy scored two of his touchdowns in the second half of the game, from 27 and 5 yards out.

His first touchdown came on Jackson’s first possession of the game, where he rushed in from 4 yards for the score to give his team an early 7-0 lead.

On Opp’s first possession of the game, the Aggies got the ball back with 3:27 left in the first quarter when Gavin Free threw an interception to Tyrell Kinder.

Jackson (11-2) took advantage of its second possession of the game as quarterback Ransome Hare snuck the ball in from 5 yards out with 10:46 left in the first half.

Both teams went into the locker room at halftime needing to regroup and get ready for the next half. Jackson led 14-0 at the break.

“We came out flat I think in the first half and Opp was giving us a lot of problems,” Jackson coach Jeff Kelly said. “Coach Whigham and the boys over at Opp — they play hard.”

It was not a good start for the Bobcats (7-5) in the third quarter as an early fumble from Richard Davis led to Bracy’s first touchdown of the second half.

Whigham said the team just could not get going in the second half.

“Jackson has got a great team,” Whigham said. “We weren’t able to put anything together. We turned the ball over early in the second half and they got the ball rolling and we couldn’t get them stopped.”

Hare handed off to Bracy and he ran the ball in the end zone 12 seconds after Opp’s fumble to give Jackson a 21-0 lead.

Jackson held Opp to a three-and-out and Bracy scored his third touchdown with 7:48 left in the third.

Jackson’s Ledarrius Bowe took over for Bracy at the running back position and scored from 2 yards out with 54.3 seconds left in the third quarter.

The stadium went silent on Opp’s next possession as a Jackson defender picked up Josh Scarbrough and threw him to the ground, knocking him out.

He would return to the field later, with written permission from the team doctor.

Jackson dominated over Opp throughout the game. The Aggies had 436 yards on offense and allowed 302 yards on defense.

The next step in the playoffs for Jackson will be against Bibb County next Friday night in the quarterfinals.

“It was a big win and I’m proud of my kids,” Kelly said. “This week was a bit tougher than our first-round team was. Next week will be a big game for us.”

Despite being behind by 42 points, Opp showed a lasting effort in the fourth quarter. Gavin Free connected with Josh Thompson on a 25-yard pass.

Jackson’s John-David Mitchell closed out his team’s scoring in the fourth quarter with a 29-yard field goal.

On Opp’s last possession of the season, Josh Scarbrough ran the ball in from the 1-yard line with 4.7 seconds on the clock.

Whigham said he was proud of his kids for their successful season.

“For them to accomplish what they did and to get the region championship, winning a playoff game and hosting a playoff game, I’m very proud of them,” he said. “Obviously we’d like the season to go on and to have one more. I think, based upon their ability level — they accomplished all they could have accomplished.”

Jackson’s Joseph Jackson rushed for 91 yards on 10 carries, and Ledarrius Bowe rushed for 27 yards on six carries. Hare was 3-of-3 for 24 yards and had a 5-yard touchdown rush.

Opp’s Josh Scarbrough lead the Bobcats in rushing with 81 yards on 21 carries and one touchdown. Free was 3-of-7 for 60 yards, one touchdown and one interception.