Rehobeth spoils Bobcat homecoming, 39-20

Published 11:11 pm Friday, September 29, 2023

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Opp celebrated its homecoming Friday, but there was not a lot to celebrate on the field as the Bobcats fell to Rehobeth, 39-20.

The two teams stayed close through the first half, but the Rebels began to pull away in the third period and Opp was never able to catch up.

The first score of the game came after the Bobcats forced a punt, but then misplayed it, allowing the Rebels to take possession back at the Opp 30-yard line. After converting on a fourth-and-one, the Rebels took the next play 19 yards into the end zone, taking a 7-0 lead with 4:26 remaining in the first period.

The Bobcats struck back fast courtesy of a long run second-down run by Zeb Green all the way to the Rebel 10-yard line. The Rebels forced a fourth-and-10, but quaterback Colby Ballard kept the ball and avoided tacklers to get into the end zone. Keenan Forsyght’s point-after tied the game at seven with 1:22 to go in the first.

The next Rehobeth drive ended when a lateral fell to the ground and was picked up by Landon Langley and returned to the 42. But, the turnover did not yield any points as Rehobeth held Opp on three plays, forcing a punt.

Taking possession at their own 24, a 41-yard run put the Rebels back into Opp territory and they would retake the lead on a 27-yard run a few plays later, taking a 14-7 lead with 3:48 to go in the first half.

The Rebels gave themselves a chance for another score after recovering an onside kick. But, Green squashed that idea when he picked off a deep pass, conserving the 14-7 score at the half.

Rehobeth quickly got back on the board to begin the second half. After a decent return on the opening kickoff and getting the benefit of an unsportsman penalty against the Bobcats, the Rebels scored on their second play on a 33-yard run up the middle. Opp’s Langley once again blocked the extra point, but Rehobeth now held a 20-7 edge.

After another three-and-out for the Bobcats, Rehobeth’s punt return went backwards to start their next possession at their own 16. The Rebels served up a steady diet of running plays and then hit a big one for 48 yards. A few plays later, they scored on a 12-yard run. The point-after lifted the Rebels to a 27-7 lead with 5:32 remaining in the third period.

Opp’s next possession ended on an interception at their own 32, but then they turned around and forced a turnover on downs after four plays. On the next play, Ballard found Green wide open downfield and laid it up perfect for a 68-yard touchdown, putting Opp back in the game at 27-14.

Rehobeth would make an Opp comeback even tougher when they scored on a 73-yard run with 8:48 to go in the game. Landon Langley blocked the point-after, making the score 33-14.

The Bobcats kept working and ultimately it paid off. After driving to the Rebel 9-yard line and then turning the ball over on downs, Rehobeth gave the ball back to the Bobcats at the 20-yard line on a fumbled snap. Opp capitalized a few plays later when Ballard found Forsyght the a touchdown, cutting the lead to 33-20 with 2:40 to go.

The game was all but over when Opp’s try at an onside kick backfired and instead was returned by Rehobeth to the Bobcat 15. They scored on three plays, leading to the final of 39-20.

Leading the way for the Bobcats was Green who rushed for 66 yards and hauled in two passes for 80 yards, including the 68-yard touchdown.

Ballard went 9-of-21 passing for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

Other receivers contributing were Ethan Morgan who had two catches for 19 yards and Damirian Thompson who had three catches for 8 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown.

Ballard had a good night on the defensive side of the ball, leading the team with 16 tackles. A.C. Hightower had 12 tackles and Josh Smith added 10. JaKellus Lane had nine tackles and sack.

Langley added seven tackles, recovered a fumble, and blocked to extra points.

The Bobcats (2-4, 2-2) have a bye week and will host Daleville on Friday, Oct. 13, in a 3A Region 2 matchup.