Bobcats, Yellow Jackets to square off

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2011

Opp’s T.J. Register looks for a pass during the Pike County game. | Josh Dutton/For the Star-News

Opp and Abbeville are playing for one reason tonight — a region championship.

The Bobcats and Yellow Jackets will meet at Memorial Stadium in Abbeville to fight for the No. 1 seed in Class 3A, Region 2 play.

Both teams clinched a berth in the state playoffs last week. Opp beat Dale County 42-12, and Abbeville scraped by Slocomb with a 14-6 win.

“If we win, we’d obviously win the region, and if they win, they would win the region,” OHS head football coach Jack Whigham said. “With the win against Dale County last week, that would put us finishing no worse than third (in the region).”

Abbeville (6-1, 5-0) enters this week’s region contest with a load of weapons on offense. Marqavius King-Shipman has thrown for more than 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns this season and averages 181.4 yards per game. On the ground, King-Shipman has rushed 595 yards on 79 carries and has scored five touchdowns.

At wide receiver, Roemello Russaw has 25 receptions for 328 yards and one touchdown; Jaylen Porter has 15 receptions for 334 yards and two touchdowns; and touchdown leader Siren Neal has 12 receptions for 290 yards and eight touchdowns.

“They’re very dangerous on offense,” Whigham said. “They’ve got a lot of skill people that can make plays, and if you turn them loose, they’ll go the distance.”

Whigham said controlling the clock is a big key in tonight’s game.

For the past week, the Bobcats have been out of school on their fall intercession.

Whigham said in spite of being out of school, practice has gone well this week with the exception of a couple hiccups.

“We’ve had a pretty good week of practice,” he said. “On Wednesday we didn’t do as well as I would have liked us to have done.

“Only one kid missed practice, and we’ve had a good weeks of preparation,” he said.

Whigham said he will bring the players up to the school a little bit earlier today, and hopes the normal pre-game routine will go into affect as quickly as possible.

“I know the kids know the importance of this game,” Whigham said. “We can’t lose our poise in this game.

“Abbeville is a good team, and they make good plays,” he said. “We can’t let that throw us out of our rhythm. We’ve got to stay in control and play the game and not lose our emotions and control.”

Kick off tonight in Abbeville is at 7.