AHSAA Week 1 Offensive Football Spotlight
OPELIKA’S KORY MCCOY SPARKS OPELIKA TO 21-13 VICTORY OVER ARCH-RIVAL AUBURN
MONTGOMERY – In a series that had been almost dead-even over 90 years, Opelika High School linebacker KORY MCCOY took made sure the series would not get any tighter … not on his watch. MCCOY had 12 tackles and one sack to earn lead the Bulldogs to a 21-13 victory over Auburn last week to earn the AHSAA Defensive Football Spotlight for week 1 in the process.
COACH ERIK SPEAKMAN has seen his defense allow just 20 points in the first two games this season – thanks in big part to the big-play leadership of MCCOY. He had plenty of help, however. Teammate DINO MARTIN added nine tackles and two sacks as Opelika extended its lead in the series to 47-44-3. Auburn had won the last two to close the gap. Most years, this rivalry goes down to the wire. In fact, 12 of the last 20 games have been settled by a touchdown or less. Since the series started in 1917, only 96 points separate the two teams. The Bulldogs have scored 1,473 points (16.2 ppg) and Auburn has scored 1,377 (15.1 ppg) over that span.
The series has been highlighted by 28 shutouts, 15 by Opelika and 13 by Auburn. The 1944 game ended in a 0-0 tie.
Other top defensive performances reported from last week’s games include:
DYLAN CREECH, GENEVA: The Panthers’ linebacker recorded 18 tackles on defense, three for losses, including a key stop short of a first down on third-and-3 at the 18 in the final minute of Geneva’s 34-26 win over Geneva County. Creech also rushed for 137 yards on 14 carries, including a 56-yard TD run.
JACKSON BRATTON, MUSCLE SHOALS: Totaled 11 tackles, including one sack, and forced a fumble as the Trojans beat Bob Jones 46-19.
JAYLEN FAISON, DOTHAN: Recorded 10 tackles and an interception as the Wolves downed Wetumpka 54-41 for the new consolidated school’s first win.
SEAN SMITH, PIEDMONT: Blocked a punt that set up the Bulldogs’ first touchdown and had nine tackles in their 28-16 win over Addison. Four of his tackles resulted in losses.
WILL TURNER, HEADLAND: Led the Rams’ defense with 13 tackles in a 36-34 win over Highland Home.
CHASE TRAVIS, BRIARWOOD CHRISTIAN: Had two interceptions in a 17-14 loss to Chelsea.
MICHAEL CHENG, DECATUR HERITAGE: Intercepted a pair of passes in Decatur Heritage’s 42-6 win over Sumiton Christian. His first pick set up a TD and he returned the second one for a touchdown.
TREY STITTS, CEDAR BLUFF: Sealed a 14-12 win over Spring Garden with an interception with 1:17 remaining.
ANTOINE WILLIAMS, PINSON VALLEY: Recorded nine tackles, including 2½ tackles for loss and 1½ sacks, in a 27-7 victory over Ramsay.
MICHAEL REYNOLDS, GAYLESVILLE: Totaled 10 tackles in Gaylesville’s 46-6 win over Asbury.
WILL BROOKS, VESTAVIA HILLS: Returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown in a 49-7 victory over Homewood.