SHS lines up-end Bobcats

Published 12:55 am Saturday, October 26, 2013

Straughn's Dalton Watson (54) and the rest of the offensive front helped quarterback Rollin Kinsaul a bunch tonight. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn’s Dalton Watson (54) and the rest of the offensive front helped quarterback Rollin Kinsaul a bunch tonight. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn’s dominance on the line of scrimmage was in plain sight Friday night in a 49-21 region victory over Opp at Tigers Stadium.

On both sides of the ball, the SHS line play was a stellar thing to watch as the big boys gave their quarterback plenty of time to pass, their runners plenty of space to run in and the opportunity to collapse the pocket in preventing the Bobcats from being consistent on offense.

SHS head football coach Trent Taylor said the whole team wanted to come out and play better for its last game of the regular season after its 42-7 loss to T.R. Miller last week.

“I think our kids had a lot to prove after last week,” Taylor said. “It wasn’t that coach Taylor was disappointed in them, it was that they were disapponited in themselves.

It’s not to take anything away from last week’s opponent, but I think they felt like — not that we should’ve won — but that we should’ve played better,” he said.

With this victory, which took place on Straughn’s senior night, the Tigers (7-2, 6-1 in Class 3A, Region 1) solidified the No. 2 seed and will host the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs. SHS will host Northside, the No. 3 seed out of Region 3.

Opp fell to 5-4 overall, and 4-3 in conference play. The Bobcats will have to travel to play Fayette County as the No. 4 seed.

OHS had three turnovers — two interceptions and a fumble — in the second half.

Bobcats head football coach Jack Whigham said a team can’t expect to win a game against another good team if it turns the ball over.

“We knew we were going to have to beat them,” Whigham said. “We played a pretty good first half. We turned the ball over in the second half, and when you do that, you’re going to lose. It’s that simple.”

Leading his team on offense, Straughn junior quarterback Rollin Kinsaul accounted for five of the Tigers’ touchdowns — two passing and three rushing.

Kinsaul’s first touchdown on the ground came from 1-yard out with 1:04 left in the first quarter after both teams went back and forth from the start.

SHS drove the field 73 yards in just more than five minutes, which included big pass plays from Kinsaul to Daryl George for 8 yards, Keith Edgar for 15, Brice Scott for 10 and Justin McCormick for 10.

From the 1, Kinsaul took it in and the Tigers were ahead 7-0 with the extra point.

The Tigers forced a three-and-out on Opp’s next offensive possession, but gave the ball back to the Bobcats after Kinsaul fumbled at his own 45-yard line with 9:59 left in the second quarter.

Ethan Davis was sacked by SHS senior Johnny Owens, but four plays later, OHS running back Ty White scored his first of three TDs of the night from 6 yards.

It didn’t take long for the Tigers to respond on its next series, completing a five-play, 51-yard drive on a 12-yard strike from Kinsaul to Scott. With the PAT, SHS led 14-7.

During Opp’s next offensive possession, things started getting a little hairy.

Orlando Lacey, Opp’s speedy and elusive quarterback, fumbled the ball and teammate Walt Meeks recovered the loose ball. Meeks apparently loses the ball and Straughn senior Steven Twitty, made the recovery. The Tigers go to line up at the line to start another offensive series, but the referees later decide it’s the Bobcats ball.

From there, Opp drove it from Straughn’s 18 and punched it in from 6 yards for White’s second TD. The Bobcats, however, missed the PAT and trailed 14-13 with 2:35 left in the first half.

Then, SHS strutted down the field 71 yards in 1 minute, 41 seconds to culminate in Kinsaul putting up a 32-yard pass, which landed in the hands of Scott for a touchdown with 54 seconds left in the first half.

Taylor said the momentum definitely swung in his team’s favor after the late first-half TD.

“Rollin threw it up to a really good athlete, and he went up and made a good play,” the coach said. “Now, we get the ball in the second half, and we challenged our offense to make sure they came out and scored.”

That they did.

Kinsaul scampered in from 11 yards and SHS took a healthy 28-13 lead with 9:31 left in the third.

The Bobcats fumbled again after Davis connected with Justin Adkins, and SHS took over at Opp’s 33 with 8:35 left.

From there, Kinsaul scored from 3 yards after two great runs from Devin Scott. Devin finished with 179 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown.

SHS led 35-13, and both teams couldn’t get anywhere on offense on their next series.

With 11.1 seconds left, Scott scored his TD on a 1-yard rush to put SHS ahead 42-13 with the successful PAT.

Another interception by Davis gave Straughn the ball at its own 20. The Tigers then drove the field, thanks to a George 44-yard rush and a couple runs by Devin and Kinsaul.

George then scored from 24 yards with 8:02 left in the game, and the Tigers lead 49-13.

Opp didn’t quit, as it always does, and scored with 5:21 to go in the game. White went in from 1 yard.

“I’m proud of our kids for playing until the end and scoring,” Whigham said. “We’ve got to get ready to play a good Pike County team next week. A win next week would guarantee us a winning season, and that’s one of our goals. Then, we’ll need to get ready to play in the playoffs.”

Kinsaul finished 10-for-14 for 137 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, and rushed 10 times for 40 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Brice had two receptions for 44 yards, Lane Sirmon had two receptions for 25 yards, and Edgar caught two for 30 yards.

Opp’s Onterrio Jones rushed 95 yards on three carries.

The Bobcats visit Pike County next week for their regular-season finale.