Newspaper Archive of
The Florala News
Florala , Alabama
October 14, 1976     The Florala News
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October 14, 1976

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IMAGE SMALLTOWNPAPERS, INC. ALL CONTENT COPYRIGHTED. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. USE SUBJECT TO LICENSE AGREEMENT. REPRODUCTION, DISSEMINATION, STORAGE, DISTRIBUTION PROHIBITED. II In the tradition of all Flo- rala-Opp football games, the 1976 edition was high school football at its very best. At least 3,000 people ga- thered in Bates MemoriatSta- dium Friday night to watch Coach Randy Griffin's 3-A Opp Bobcats battle Coach Paul Terry's 2-A Florala Wildcats. It was a classic match-upbet- ween two class teams. John Anthony Being Tackled. A slow drizzle was falling on the coldest night of this football season, but this did not dampen the spirits of the many fans that had gathered to cheer their respective teams. Neither did it slow the action that took place bet- ween the goal posts and side- lines. The Florala-Opp game was high school football at its very best. Three thousand specta- tors went home knowing that they had seen two fine foot- ball teams in action. They had seen hard hitting, aggres- sive, but still very clean foot- ball. Every player on both teams could hold their head high because they did an out- standing job. The Opp Bobcats were ahead on the scoreboard when the final gun sounded and claimed their fourth victory against two losses. The Florala Wildcats were a close second and came away supporting an identical record. There were no losers in Ba- tes Memorial Stadium Friday night. The Bobcats just nipped the Wildcats at the finish line. John Anthony lead a strong Wildcat rushing attack with 77 yards against a tough Bobcat defense. Quarterback A1 Mc- Neill was second with 49 yards followed by Kenneth Ingram with 46 yards and Jeff Thrash with 46. The total rushing yardage of 219 yards is a cre- dit to the Wildcat offensive line who was consistly opening big holes for the backs to run through. The Wildcat defense was lead by Rusty Boles with I0 indivi- dual tackles and 6 assists, fol- lowed by Craig Mathews with 6 individual tackles and 2 as- sists and John Hunt with 7 in- dividual tackles. The Florala defense held Opp to 173 yards rushing most of which were on two long runs. Opp won the game on two touchdown passes late in the fourth quarter. Florala fans can be proud of their Wildcats for the outstand- ing game they played as they were edged by Opp, 27-21. IST QUARTER. Florala kick- ed off and soon found them- selves trailing in the ball game as Opp started a touchdown drive from their own 40 yard line. A long run was made by Kenneth Hall on an option play. Hall later scampered II yards for the score and with 7:14 remaining in the first quarter, Opp was on the score- board first. Hall also did the honors on the placement kick and brought the score to 7-0. Florala marched back down- field after the ensuing kick- off and capped a beautiful 72 yard drive when 216 pound full- back John Anthony cracked in from the I0 yard stripe. Chuck Linton split the uprights and the score was deadlocked at 7-7. The quarter ended after this action. 2ND QUARTER. Opp came back to the attack, building a Jeffrey Tlu'ash advancing ball qainJt Opp Bobcats. AI McNeill woring two poinl conversion. 75 yard drive that consumed the clock and yardage and end- ed when Opp's number 24- Kenneth Hall - slipped in from 13 yards out with 10:09 left in the second period. Guess who? Kenneth Hall kicked the extra point to put the score at 14-7. Anthony and the rest of the Florala Wildcats pounded back upfield, then downfield, and Anthony did the honors from two yards out with 3:10 left. The Cats were within onepoint of tying the Bobcats, but things got no closer as the extra point was missed. Half- time score, Opp 14, Florala 13. 3RD QUARTER. In third period action, Florala fumbled a punt return back to Opp on the Cats 30 yard stripe, but on the next play they got the ball back when Opp fumbled and the Cats recovered. Later in the quarter, Opp again fumbled the ball and this time Anthony was on the scene, scooped it up and ran 25 yards for the score with 6:43 left in the third period. On the two point conversion Anthony took the hand-off and started right, then threw back to Al McNeill in the endzone for a 21-14 Wildcat lead. The third quarter ended with Florala leading 21-14. 4TH QUARTER. Opp tied the game with 7:24 remaining when Whigham's 12 yard 4th down pass to Jones capped a 71 yard march downfield. Hall kicked the extra point to tie things up on the next play. A repeat of the third period fumble swap scene saw the Wildcats recover an Opp fum- ble with 2:11 left in the final period, only to lose it back through a fumble on the next play on the Cats 48 yard stripe. With 1:34 left in the period Whigham lofted a pass to Jo- nes, who collected it on the run for a winning Bobcat touch- down. The extra point was missed but the scoring was over as the Cats could not move the football after the kick-off. The clock ran out and Opp had edged Florala in a hard fought football contest by the score of 27-21. / Jm y ma. ud Nau Bradley Making a .top. Jeffrey Thrash (25)blocking for Big John Anthony (33). Coach Paul Terry picked Wildcats John Anthony and Rus- ty Boles as Players of the Week for the Florala-Opp game. Anthony was picked because he made all three Wildcat touch- downs and Boles because he was the leading tackler. As for this Friday night's .... game with Pike County High School from Brundidge, Terry~ said the Wildcats were physi- cally fit and would be in good J:::!~ i shape. :,: :~,~ : However, Terry said that his Wildcats might suffer a men- tal letdown after suffering a loss to Opp when they had played their best. Brundidge has won only one game this season, Terry said, but they are a 3-A school. OFFENSE STANDOUT John Anthony DEFENSE STANDOUT Rusty Boles