Bobcats get back on track with 33-14 win over Daleville

Published 11:24 pm Friday, October 13, 2023

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Opp caught fire in the second quarter and erupted for three touchdowns on the way to a 33-14 senior night win against Daleville at home Friday night.

OHS Head Coach Matt Brunson was proud of his team for the crucial region win.

“I thought the defense played extremely well early, and we had a blocked punt that swung momentum in our favor. Our offense got going after that, but it was a great defensive effort containing Daleville’s quarterback who is very athletic. Tonight was a big team win for us. We definitely needed it going into this four-week run of region play. While it was a big win and good for our seniors, we will have our hands full next week at Houston Academy,” Brunson said.

The Bobcats (3-4, 3-2 3A Region 2) went three-and-out on their opening possession of the game. Omarion Pinckney then hit Devan Bush for a 12-yard gain across midfield. The drive ultimately stalled for the Warhawks (2-6, 1-5) as a punt attempt was blocked and recovered by Dylan Reisnour. Jaymaryon Allen needed only one play for a 1-yard touchdown run. The PAT was no good and left the score 6-0 with 5:51 to go in the opening quarter.

The home defense forced its first three-and-out as Opp began its next drive at its own 37-yard line. Allen converted a third-and-7 with an 18-yard run to the visiting 42. Two plays later, Colby Ballard called his own number with a 16-yard scamper to the 21. Ballard then had a 6-yard carry on the final play of the first. After moving the chains for a first down, Ballard capped the nine-play, 63-yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown run. Allen converted the two-point conversion for a 14-0 lead with 11:23 left in the half. Grady Patterson recovered a fumble by Daleville on the ensuing kickoff.

Starting at the visiting 30, Allen moved the chains again on third down with a 9-yard run. Ballard kept the drive alive with a 3-yard run on third-and-1 before Allen found the end zone from six yards out. The PAT came up short, but the score moved to 20-0 with 7:11 remaining in the second quarter. The Warhawks were unable to muster any yards on their next drive and forced into another punt. Allen continued his good work on the ground with a 25-yard run. The Bobcats rolled the dice on fourth down and saw it pay off when Ballard connected with Reed Adams for 10 yards. Damirian Thompson then hauled in a 4-yard touchdown pass from Ballard. Saban Sasser booted the point after for a 27-0 lead. Landon Langley picked off a pass by Pinckney and returned it 36 yards on the last play of the half.

Daleville averted the shutout with a strong 8-play, 76-yard opening drive of the second half. Pinckney earned two first-down carries of 17 and 20 yards before a holding call sent the ball back. After two more runs, Pinckney went to the air and found Carrington Garland for a 44-yard touchdown. Pinckney ran in the two-point conversion and cut the deficit to 27-8 with 8:27 left in the third. Opp stuck to its ground attack and chewed up the rest of the clock for the remainder of the quarter. Ballard moved the chains three times including a pair of fourth-down conversions. Ballard then threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Thompson on the first play of the fourth quarter. The PAT was no good, but the lead swelled to 33-8 with 11:46 to go in the game.

Starting across midfield on their next drive, the Warhawks had a touchdown called back due to a holding call. On fourth-and-19, an incomplete pass turned the ball over on downs. The Bobcats were unable to pick up a first down and had to punt. Mark Romero took a handoff up the middle on the first play of the drive and raced 69 yards to the end zone. The two-point attempt failed and left the score 33-14 for the final outcome.

Ballard was 3-of-7 passing for 26 yards and also had 23 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown. Allen earned nine carries for 74 yards and a score. Thompson finished with a pair of receptions for 16 yards and both receiving touchdowns.

Jakelleus Lane led the strong defensive effort with eight tackles and a sack. Nelson Hall followed with seven tackles and a sack. Hank Messer and Landon Langley had four and three tackles, respectively.

Opp travels to Dothan for the third time this year and meets Houston Academy (6-1, 4-1) in another region contest on Friday, Oct. 20.