Straughn captures 14-13 OT win

Published 12:31 am Saturday, September 24, 2011

Opp’s T.J. Register is stopped at the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter Friday night. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn’s defense stepped up its game Friday night.

The Tigers stopped Opp’s Myeke Boyd from scoring a two-point conversion in overtime to scrape a 14-13 regular season victory over the Bobcats at Channel-Lee Stadium.

SHS head football coach Trent Taylor said his team worked hard for this game, and credit goes to the players that helped the team get the victory.

“When we’ve been through what they’ve been through from week two (falling to St. James 20-0), and then last week (falling to Hillcrest-Evergreen 27-26 in OT), I think you’re just seeing youth,” Taylor said. “There are so many young ones out there. So many contribute Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday each week. Those kids kind of go un-talked about.

“We’ve got some guys that do a great job on our scout team offense, and our scout team defense,” he said. “They had us ready to play.”

With this victory, the Tigers improve to 3-2 overall, and will travel to play Bullock County next week to start the second half of the season.

Tied 7-7 at the end of regulation play, Opp won the toss to start over time, and elected to play defense first.

Lining up at the 10-yard line, Straughn senior quarterback Zack Turvin scooted up the middle for an easy score. The extra point by kicker Chase Short was good and the Tigers led 14-7.

The Bobcats got the ball, and Boyd took it to the 5-yard line and on 2nd-and-5, sophomore tailback Onterrio Jones rushed from five yards for the score.

Opp, who is less than 50 percent in extra point attempts, decided to then go for two, but the senior tailback Boyd was met by a host of Straughn defenders off the left side of the play.

Opp falls to 3-2 overall, and will play host to Pike County next week in region play to start its second half of the regular season.

“We got beat by a good team,” OHS head football coach Jack Whigham said. “We made some mistakes.

“We’ve had some trouble kicking some extra points. We went in on the inside and tried to go for the win. Hind sight is 20-20,” he said. “Right now, we’re less than 50 percent kicking extra points. Right now, we had a good shot going for two. Straughn’s defense stepped up, and they stopped us right here in the end zone.”

From the first whistle, Straughn had control of the game.

The Tigers set the tone in the first quarter, when they drove down the field 67 yards in an 18-play drive that lasted the entire 12 minutes of play.

When the first quarter ended, Taylor beat the referees and line judges to the other end of the field, where the Tigers took the ball from the 2-yard line.

Short completed the rare, 12-minute drive with a 2-yard touchdown run at the start of the second quarter. Short then kicked the extra point and the Tigers led 14-7.

On Opp’s first offensive possession, Straughn held the Bobcats to a three-and-out.

However, the Tigers gave up a fumble on their second offensive possession to put the tide flowing in Opp’s favor.

The Bobcats drove 26 yards with the help of Boyd, and on a 4th-and-10 play after a false start penalty, Bobcats senior quarterback T.J. Register’s pass fell incomplete and the Tigers took over on downs.

On the 6-yard line and with a 4th-and-two play, Turvin fumbled the ball again. Opp’s Trent Finedore scooped the ball up and that led to a 9-yard touchdown run from Boyd with 8:15 left in the third quarter. The extra point was good and the game was tied 7-7.

Straughn held Opp to only 37 yards on offense, and had 12 first downs in its 151-yard first half.

Taylor and Whigham agreed the first quarter drive was a first in their combined 50 years of coaching experience.

“I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and I’ve never ever taken the ball on the opening drive and run off 12 minutes,” Taylor said. “I’ve never done that.”

During the first quarter, Opp committed some critical penalties that helped theTigers in their advancement down the field.

“I’ve never seen anybody have it the whole quarter,” Whigham said. “They won the game, and they deserve to win the game.”

With the game tied at 7-7, the Tigers couldn’t get anything going on their next offensive possession after the Bobcats scoring drive to start the third quarter.

On Opp’s next offensive possession, Boyd, senior tailback Trey Short and senior receiver Hunter Roeser helped take the ball to the mid-way point.

Then, Register tried for a pass play, but Straughn’s Keith Edgar made a one-handed grab for the interception.

Straughn again fumbled the ball on its next offensive possession and ran the clock out in the third quarter.

This was when the Tigers’ defense stepped up.

From the 4-yard line, the Bobcats were stopped three times, only allowing Boyd to rush three yards.

Register tried to take the ball in from the 1-yard line, but was stopped for a one-yard loss to turn the ball over on downs.

The Tigers executed a 12-play drive on their next offensive possession to take much-need time off the clock for the Bobcats.

Opp started its drive with 2:57 remaining in the contest and couldn’t get anywhere, having to punt.

Straughn had the ball with 58 seconds remaining, but could only drive to its 48-yard line, and the game then went into over time.

Taylor said the opening drive was a big key in the win, and added the stops later in the game were also big.

“Those two defensive stops weren’t real bad either,” he said.