GETTING OVER THE PAIN: Bobcats’ season ends with questionable TD
Published 12:05 am Wednesday, November 9, 2016
The Opp Bobcats finished the regular season 9-1 and were ranked No. 4 in Class 3A, but a questionable touchdown for Hillcrest-Evergreen gave the Jaguars an overtime win over Opp in the first round of the AHSAA state playoffs.
Opp breezed through the regular season with their only loss coming Class 4A’s top-ranked Andalusia Bulldogs.
The Bobcats won their region and hosted Hillcrest-Evergreen in the first round of the playoffs.
After a back-and-forth game, Hillcrest scored on a fourth-and-goal play in overtime to eliminate the Bobcats from the playoffs.
“From where I was standing, I will tell you it looked like his knee was down before he crossed the end zone,” Opp head coach Brent Hill said. “The guys who get paid to make the calls said that he scored, so that’s really all you can do with that. I hate it for the kids, and I know they are still hurting from this, but it’s like life, sometimes things don’t go the way that you want them to and you just have to bounce back and respond.”
After the Bobcats kicked a field goal to start out overtime, it looked like Opp might stop the Jaguars on their overtime possession.
The Bobcats held tall at the goal line and forced a fourth down play.
The Hillcrest quarterback fumbles the snap from the center and it appeared as though his knee was on the ground as he scooped up the loose ball. He then dives from his knee across the goal line where the official runs in signaling a touchdown and the end of the game.
“It’s not how you want your season to end,” Hill said. “I felt like we made some mistakes that let Hillcrest stay in the game, and that’s not something you can do in the playoffs, but I still felt like our kids played well and I’m extremely proud of this group.”
On offense, the Bobcats were led by Troy University commit Orlando Lacey.
Lacey spent most of the season playing quarterback for the Bobcats, but also saw time at wide receiver.
In 11 total games, Lacey passed for 1,156 yards and 13 touchdowns.
On the ground, Lacey added another 948 yards and 12 touchdowns.
In limited wide out action, Lacey caught a few passes for 130 yards and two scores.
Lacey also had three picks while playing cornerback for the Bobcats’ defense.
When the ball wasn’t in Lacey’s hands, there was a good chance Hennis Washington was using it to pile up yardage from his position as the Bobcats workhorse running back.
Washington rushed for 1,179 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Washington had five games in which he rushed for more than 100 yards.
Washington also led the Bobcats with a Class 3A-high seven interceptions.
Washington returned one of the interceptions for a score.
The Bobcats also go a strong season from Tye Lindsey on both sides of the ball.
Lindsey had 511 yards receiving with five touchdowns.
Lindsey added a kick return for touchdown and also returned an interception for a score.
On defense, senior headhunter Tree Lane roamed massively in the middle of the field for the Bobcats.
Lane piled up 91 tackles and a team-high five sacks.
E.J. Reed was the second sack leader with four sacks on the season.
Senior Austin McCart led the way for the Bobcats with 101 tackles.