Bobcats welcome Bayside Academy

Published 12:01 am Friday, September 14, 2012

Opp’s Quantavis Stoudemire rushes an Elba player during the first week of the season. | Jeffrey Moore Jr./Star-News

Opp will face a “two-headed monster” in eighth-ranked Bayside Academy at Channell-Lee Stadium tonight.

The Bobcats lost to T.R. Miller 21-7 last week in region-opening play. OHS trailed 14-7 to the Tigers at one point in Brewton.

This week, OHS (1-1, 0-1 in Class 3A, Region 1) will face an Admirals football team who is experienced in not only running the ball, but in passing.

“They’re used to winning,” OHS head football coach Jack Whigham said. “They’re well-coached. (Admirals) Coach (Phil) Lazenby and his staff do a great job. They’re not going to make any mistakes.”

Whigham said he has noticed that Bayside is “disciplined” in what it runs on the field, and their technique is “very, very sound.”

“They’re not going to create penalties or things like that,” he said.

The Admirals (1-1, 1-0) got off to a good start in Region 1 with a 40-17 victory over Excel last week.

In Bayside’s win last week, Greg Parker ran a punt back 40 yards for a touchdown and Jon Walton had close to 20 tackles at linebacker, reported.

The Admirals also have Joe Stassen, who ran for about 130 yards, along with Jacob Graddick and Tripp Puckett in their running arsenal.

Whigham said not only can they run the ball well, but Bayside quarterback Hunter Slater can throw the ball. Slater was 7-of-8 for 70 yards last week.

“They run the Wing-T really well, but the thing about it is that their quarterback is very, very accurate,” he said. “They did a lot more spread stuff last year, and he was extremely good in the spread passing game last year. He has experience throwing the ball and running the ball, so they’re a two-headed monster.”

When asked if he thinks the Admirals will pass it more this week because his Bobcats will expect the run, Whigham said the Daphne-based team will give everything it has.

“They can do both (running and passing),” he said. “All of us want to do both, but they do both of them very well.”

Opp is plagued with injuries and Whigham said he expects his players to step up to the task and fill the holes left.

Opp junior quarterback Ethan Davis is still out with a broken collar bone; junior linebacker Landon Hughes has a broken wrist, but will have a cast put on for this week; junior defensive end Michael Wilkerson has a broken hand, but will have a cast; and several other banged up ankles and knees.

“Somebody’s got to step up and take their place,” he said. “We’re not going to use that as an excuse. We’re going to get up and ready to play.

“If we’re going to win the game, we’re going to have to beat them,” he said. “They’re not going to lose the game. We’re going to have to beat them.”