Bobcats, Tigers clash for rivalry
The Opp Bobcats (6-3, 4-2) will look to end their regular season on a high note when they travel to Elba Friday night to take on the top-ranked Tigers (9-0, 7-0).
Both teams come into the Friday’s game having won their last contest. Opp took out Class 3A, Region 1 opponent Cottage Hill, 43-7. Elba knocked off Class 2A, Region 3 foe Highland Home, 64-4.
Elba has been hammering their opponents this season with a high-scoring offense and a hard-nosed defense.
Offensively, the Tigers have rolled up an impressive 470 points through nine games.
The Tigers’ defense has been equally successful having allowed a mere 78 points this season.
This will be the 76th meeting between the Tigers and the Bobcats, with Opp holding a slim 38-37 record over Elba. Last season, however, Elba came out on top with a 48-19 victory over the Bobcats.
Offensively, the Bobcats will continue to do what has worked well for them all season. Hill said the Bobcats’ offense is no secret, “We line up and just run what defense gives up.”
The Bobcats are led on offense by junior dual-threat quarterback Orlando Lacey, sophomore wide receiver Reggie Thompson and senior Raheem Bonam.
Lacey has used his legs and his arm to torch opposing defenses this season. Through the air, Lacey has amassed 1,127 yards to go along with six touchdowns. On the ground, Lacey has picked up 761 yards on 127 carries and another six touchdowns.
Thompson is a versatile player who can line up at several positions for the Bobcats on offense. Thompson will play some a running back, wide receiver and quarterback.
For the year, Thompson has hauled in 28 passes for 420 yards and six touchdowns. Thompson has passed for a pair of touchdowns also.
Bonam has been a staple in the Bobcats’ offense since having to carry a lot of the workload last year following Lacey’s injury.
This season, Bonam has once again shown his ability to run the ball for the Bobcats, as he has racked up 504 yards and six touchdowns on just 76 carries. Bonam has also shown good hands out of the backfield with 10 catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, the Bobcats are led by seniors Devontae Jackson and Ty White along with junior Tramekquez Lane.
Williams has piled up 102 tackles to lead the Bobcats and is also tied for a team-high three sacks.
Lane has also been an immovable object for the Bobcats in the middle of the gridiron with 81 sacks and is tied with Williams as the Bobcats’ sack leader.
White isn’t far behind Williams and Lane with 76 tackles, and White missed a couple of games due to an injury.
Kickoff between the Tigers and the Bobcats will be at 7 p.m., Friday in Elba.
Next week, the Bobcats will begin their quest for a state championship when they travel to Midfield next Friday night for round one of the Class 3A state playoffs.