SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE: Bobcats play with heart, fall to Luverne 34-14

Published 12:02 am Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Opp Bobcats battled for four quarters, but fell to the Luverne Tigers 34-14 on Friday in Opp.

Luverne got the ball to start the contest and needed just two plays before they found the end zone.

Dionte Brantley connected with Satyler Wilson over the middle, and Wilson raced 30 yards to the end zone.

Luverne tacked on the extra point to go up 7-0 after just 29 seconds of play.

Opp got the ball on their own 26-yard line to start the next drive, but couldn’t get anything going and had to punt after three plays.

The Tigers took back over in their own territory and put together another scoring drive.

Brantley connected with Wilson again on a nearly identical pass play, and Wilson scampered 25 yards to the end zone.

Following the extra point, Luverne was on top 14-0 with 5:29 left in the first quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Ashton Patel fielded the kick and darted nearly 90 yards to the end zone to put the Bobcats on the board.

Dakota Cornelius added the extra point to leave the Bobcats trailing 14-7 with 4:58 remaining in the opening quarter.

Opp’s defense came up big on the next series after they forced a three-and-out.

The Bobcats took over on their own 18-yard line and picked up a first down off of a big run from Jordan Kelley.

A few plays later, the Bobcats picked up another first down when Dacarmeyen Hines broke off a 30-yard run.

Kelley picked up another first down on the next play, but the Bobcat drive then stalled.

The Bobcats attempted a 39-yard field goal, but the kick came up short and Luverne took over on downs.

Opp’s defense picked up where they left off on the previous drive as they forced another three-and-out from the Tigers.

Thomas Glisson had a big stop in the backfield to help force the punt.

The teams exchanged three-and-outs for the majority of the second quarter.

After getting the ball back from a punt with just over a minute left in the half, the Bobcats fumbled the ball and Luverne recovered it on the Opp 35-yard line.

Brantley connected with Earl Thomas for a first down stop the clock with around 35 seconds left in the half.

On the next play, Brantley found Wilson again and once again Wilson caught the ball and raced 24 yards to the end zone.

Following the extra point, Luverne was on top 21-7 with 27 seconds left in the half.

Opp got the ball to start the third period and strung together an impressive 16-play drive that lasted nearly 10 minutes.

Patel picked up a first down on the first play of the series to get things rolling for the Bobcats.

A few plays later, the Bobcats faced a fourth-and-five and ran a fake punt with Patel.

Patel darted through defenders and picked up the first down to keep the drive alive.

Opp continued to move the ball down the field, but then the drive stalled in Luverne territory.

Opp tried again to go for it on fourth down, but the Tigers came up with a stop to force a turnover on downs.

Luverne took over and marched down the field for another score.

Ellian Harris broke off a 29-yard touchdown run for the Tigers.

The two-point conversion failed, but Luverne was on top 27-7 with 10:37 left in the game.

After getting a turnover on downs, the Tigers got a 12-yard touchdown run from Wilson.

Luverne went on top 34-7 follwing the extra point.

The Bobcats got the ball back and picked up a big first down run from Patel to start the drive.

On the Patel run, the Tigers were hit with a personal foul and 15 yards were tacked on to the end of the run.

That penalty helped set up Hines who raced 21 yards for a touchdown.

Hines barreled through a Luverne player at the goal line to punch his way into the end zone.

Following the extra point, Opp trailed 34-14 with 3:02 left in the game.

Luverne was then able to run out the remainder of the clock to finish off the win.

“Luverene is a very talented team,” Opp head coach Brent Hill said. “I felt like our boys fault. They fought for four quarters. There are going to be five seniors that are really hurting tonight because the season is over.”

Hill said he liked what he saw from his guys on the field.

“What I was proud to see was our boys respond,” Hill said. “I’m telling you Luverne is explosive so I was happy to see us respond. I thought our defense played well in the first half, but our offense was too inconsistent. In the second half, it all started to move a little better and I’m sure we put a scare in them. Luverne is going to be a great team in playoffs. I want to make sure we say that and give them credit, but you hurt for your five seniors. I’m proud to see our boys fight. We’ve had a tough year and to see them fight in the fourth, that makes me proud of them.”

With the loss, the Bobcats finish the season 0-10 for the first time since 2001.