Opp to battle with Luverne

Published 12:04 am Thursday, September 8, 2011

Opp’s T.J. Register drops back to hand off the ball during an earlier game this season. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Opp will face a well-coached, well-quarterbacked and line-play led Luverne team this Friday night in the Bobcats’ home-opener at Channel-Lee Stadium.

The Bobcats enter this week’s region contest with a 20-6-1 overall record over the Tigers.

Luverne fell to region opponent Abbeville 28-26 in overtime last week. The Tigers scored a late touchdown to tie the game up in regulation, and had their extra point attempt blocked to send the game into OT. Abbeville scored in OT and made the two-point conversion to lead 28-20. Luverne answered with a touchdown, but didn’t convert the two-point conversion to end up losing the game.

OHS head football coach Jack Whigham said the Tigers will be ready to win this week.

“Luverne’s a quality football team,” Whigham said. “They have a dangerous quarterback, and their linemen are really good.

“They’re going to be one of the very best coached teams this year,” he said. “Their kids know about winning. They’re going to do anything in their power to win.”

Luverne’s head football coach is Les Sanders, who is in his fourth season at the helm of the Tigers’ program.

The Bobcats (1-1, 1-0 in Class 3A, Region 2) beat Daleville last week 36-20, holding the Warhawks’ star running back Brandon Burks to under 40 yards rushing.

Unlike Daleville, Luverne doesn’t rely on one player to score the points and make the big plays, Whigham said.

“It’s going to be a physical football game,” Whigham said. “The offensive team that can sustain drives and move the ball a little will help the defense out.

“We’ve got a really good game plan in as far as the defense is concerned,” he said. “Offensively, we’ve got some things we can do,” he said.

Last season, Luverne scraped away a 13-7 win over the Bobcats.

Whigham said this season is a little bit different than last season because his Bobcats have the chance to control their own “destiny” in the region.

“We need to win every region game,” Whigham said. “If we win this game, we’ll have won a second region game. Losing won’t put us out of it necessarily.

“As long as you win, you’re not depending on fate, and what other teams will end up doing,” he said. “You control your own destiny.”

Kick off in Opp is at 7 p.m.