Adkins earns weekly honor for effort

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Justin Adkins loves doing what he does week in and week out for the Opp Bobcats.

The senior wide receiver and cornerback caught a touchdown pass, made a game-saving tackle and got a pick in Opp’s big 27-24 region victory over W.S. Neal last week.

Adkins’ three big plays on the gridiron earned him The Star-News Player of the Week honors.

Preparation was key in the win last week, Adkins said.

“It was a big game,” he said. “We went out there knowing it was going to be a battle through the fourth quarter. We all just gave it all we had and put our hearts into it.

“We fought to the end, and that’s what counts,” he said.

W.S. Neal’s Quenton Samuels broke free for 63 yards in the second quarter, but Adkins caught up with the speedy tailback and made a big tackle.

On the tackle, Adkins grabbed Samuels by the shirt first and then caused the Eagles’ runner to trip up when his cleat caught his throat.

“It started off just like any other play,” Adkins said. “I saw him break through. He was getting at it. I started going after him. I was like, I’ll go after him and I can get him if I started running.

“I got there, and made the tackle,” he said.

It was lucky that Adkins made the tackle because if WSN would’ve scored on the following set of downs, then the game would’ve had a different result. The Bobcats held the Eagles, forcing the turnover on downs.

At the start of the second half, Adkins made his interception on W.S. Neal’s first possession with OHS leading 27-18.

Adkins said on the interception, he read the quarterback right.

“I went back to the end zone, and I saw him scrambling out and throwing the ball short,” he said. “It looked like it was going out of bounds, and I was like, ‘don’t go out of bounds, don’t go out of bounds.’

“I got there, and got it right before it went out of bounds,” he said.

Earlier in the win, the Bobcats led 14-12 after Adkins caught his 25-yard touchdown pass from Ethan Davis in the first quarter.

OHS head football coach Jack Whigham said Adkins played a complete game.

“He played very well offensively,” Whigham said. “Defensively, he had an interception and made a game-saving tackle. The tackle he made in the second quarter ended up being a game-saving tackle because if they would’ve scored, it would’ve been the difference of the game.

“They were three of the biggest plays of the game, but he happpened to make all of them,” he said. “(Adkins) had to make three of the biggest ones of the game.”

Adkins has been playing football since he was 10 years old, and said the game is a passion of his.

Adkins also gave credit to the rest of his team for his performance.

“The whole team played well,” he said. “Without the whole team (I wouldn’t have had the game I had) — you’ve got to give them credit.”

Adkins is the son of Matt and Dana Adkins of Opp.