Opp throttles Luverne in season opener

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 21, 2015

Orlando Lacey was electric in Thursday night's win over Luverne.

Orlando Lacey was electric in Thursday night’s win over Luverne.

The Opp Bobcats started the 2015 football season with a bang, knocking off Luverne 44-27 Thursday night in Opp.

Luverne got the ball around midfield following a decent return, but the Bobcats’ defense shut down the Tigers. Ty White came up with a big hit on the Luverne quarterback to force a punt.

Opp’s first first down of the game came on the third offensive play of the year, when Orlando Lacey connected with Reggie Thompson for a 40-yard gain. Four plays later, Lacey went 20 yards on an option keeper for the opening score. The two point attempt was no good, and Opp led 6-0 early in the first.

After the Bobcats’ defense forced another punt, the offense took over at their own 31-yard line, and seven plays later Raheem Bonam went 18 yards for the second score of the game. White capped off the score with a two-point conversion to give Opp a 14-0 lead.

Luverne answered right back with a 65-yard drive capped off by a 7-yard touchdown run from Tyrus Jones.

After the score, the Bobcats continued to assert their dominance over the Tigers, and Hennis Washington capped off a 73-yard drive with a 42-yard touchdown run. Following the two-point conversion, Opp was on top 22-6 with nine minutes left in the first half.

The Bobcats’ defense forced a three-and-out on the next series.

On the first offensive play of the next series for Opp, Lacey connected with Bonam for a 63-yard touchdown, and with the two-point conversion Opp was up 30-6.

Luverne put together its longest drive of the game on the next series, but Opp senior Brandon Williams picked off a pass from Austin Bryant near the Tigers’ goal line to end the threat.

With a little more than three minutes left in the third quarter, Bryant scored on a 50-yard run to make the score 30-13.

Opp answered right back when Lacey went 45 yards for a touchdown.

Lacey’s final touchdown of the game came a few series later when he scored a touchdown from 56 yards out to put the Bobcats up 44-13.

With the game well in hand, the Bobcats pulled most of the starters to give the younger guys some playing time.

Luverne went on to score two more touchdowns to make the score 44-27.

“We had some veterans step up tonight,” Opp head coach Brent Hill said. “The first half we started out explosive, but we were a little sluggish in the second half. One thing for sure, Luverne never quit and that was impressive. I thought we did some things right tonight, but there are still things that we can improve on. We have learned how to fight, now we have to learn how to finish.”

In his first game since season-ending knee surgery last October, Opp’s Orlando Lacey showed no signs of being hobbled.

“I’m excited for him,” Hill said of Lacey’s return. “He doesn’t really say a lot, but he leads by example. These guys are a lot of fun to coach.”

Lacey finished the night 10-for-12 passing with 182 yards and a touchdown.

Lacey also had 153 yards rushing with three touchdowns.

“Our offensive line showed a lot of improvement,” Lacey said. “It feels pretty good to be back. I’m excited.”

Also for Opp, Washington finished with 86 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Bonam finished the night with 47 yards rushing with a touchdown, and 63 yards receiving with a touchdown.