Published 12:15 am Friday, August 22, 2014

0822 spt-Orlando Lacey rushes under pressure

Orlando Lacey rushes as a Luverne Tiger puts pressure on him Thursday night. |
Andrew Garner/Star-News

LUVERNE — “Our team won tonight.”

That’s how Opp head football coach Brent Hill described the Bobcats’ 36-26 season-opening victory over Luverne at Glenn Daniel Stadium on Thursday night.

From the first whistle, the Bobcats didn’t let up as the fought to an early 16-0 lead over the Tigers in the first quarter.

OHS went on to lead 28-18 at halftime and bucked up on defense in the second half to hold on against a well-coached LHS team, who is being coached by Opp native, former Bobcat and University of Alabama head coach Mike DuBose.

“DuBose doesn’t give you anything,” Hill said. “The biggest thing I’m proud of is the fact that the kids are excited. You can tell that they’re fighting — they’re coming together.”

The Luverne coach, who played three sports while an OHS athlete, said his Tigers took on “on the chin.”

“Obviously, they are much improved,” DuBose said about the Bobcats. “We’re not nearly as good as we were. We’re not conditioned as well as we need to be conditioned. Fundamentally, they didn’t play well. Opp had an awful lot to do with that.

“You have to give them an awful lot of credit,” he said. “Coach Hill has done a great job with the excitement he’s brought to Opp. I’m proud of them because I’m a Bobcat, too.”

Opp sophomore running back Hennis Washington scored the Bobcats’ first two touchdowns of the season in the first quarter. The first came on a 10-yard dash with 4:50 left in the opener to conclude a 72-yard drive, and the second came some 3 minutes later on a 26-yard scamper with 1:17 left for a 16-0 lead after a successful Orlando Lacey 2-point conversion.

Luverne’s Kenterius Womack connected with Rozerio Salter for a 9-yard strike with 6.1 seconds left to put the Tigers on the board in the first quarter.

The Bobcats answered when junior running back Raheem Bonam hit pay dirt on a 58-yard TD rush with 10:39 left in the first half to make it 22-6.

Womack scored on a 39-yard rush with 9:28 left in the half to cut it to 22-12.

The Bobcats answered again when senior receiver Cale Pierce rushed in on a reverse play with 5:48 left in the second to make it 28-12.

Womack helped the Tigers cut it to 16 with 0.6 seconds left on a 7-yard strike to Uriah Brown.

Things got a little hairy for OHS at the start of the second half as Luverne’s TreyVon Bodiford ran in a 1-yarder with 10:13 on the clock to cut it to two points.

At that point, Hill said the defense stepped up big and it did when the Bobcats forced a three and out on Luverne’s next possession, senior defensive back Eli Johnson grabbed an interception with 1:25 left in the third and OHS came up with a big stop on a 4th-and-15 play with about 3:39 left in the game.

Earlier in the second half, Lacey scored on a 35-yard rush with 3:29 left in the third quarter to give the last score of the game.

Lacey said it took a lot of hard work to get the win.

“It took dedication,” Lacey said. “Our team did that tonight. We fought hard. We stuck together.”

Lacey finished with 160 yards on the ground, and Bonam chipped in 155 to lead OHS, who hosts Straughn next week in regular season action.-