The New Brockton Gamecocks (2-1, 1-1) suffered their first loss of the season on Sept. 3 by a score of 27-0 in a Class 3A, Region 2 matchup with the Opp Bobcats (2-1, 1-0) at home.
New Brockton struggled to move the ball on offense totaling just 92 yards against Opp and as a result put the Gamecocks in a tough situation for much of the game.
“I think we played hard and played with some grit,” New Brockton coach Zack Holmes said. “I don’t think we did the things we needed to do to have a chance to win the game.
“We weren’t effective enough on offense. We had a big touchdown run called back and just never could get anything going offensively. We also didn’t do a great job in the kicking game. I was proud of the way our defense played, especially early. The field position game early was not in our favor and the defense stood up and did some good stuff and played well.”
Opp started its first offensive possession in the New Brockton red-zone after a short punt gave the Bobcats excellent field position. The New Broctkon defense, however, stood tall and forced a short field goal to give Opp a 3-0 lead with 7:58 left in the opening period.
On New Brockton’s next drive, quarterback Kaden Cupp raced to a 57-yard touchdown run that would have given the Gameccoks some life but it was called back on a holding penalty that wiped that score out. The Gamecocks would again be forced to punt and this time a bad snap gave Opp the ball inside the New Brockton 5-yard line.
Opp went up 10-0 with 4:31 left in the first quarter after running back Terry Davis cashed in on a 4-yard touchdown run.
The Gamecocks turned the ball over near midfield on their next possession and as the second quarter began, Opp drove down inside the New Brockton 10-yard line again. Davis scored on a 9-yard run with 9:00 left in the second quarter to extend the lead to 17-0.
After the Gamecock offense went three-and-out on their next possession, Opp once again drove down inside the New Brockton 5-yard line and Davis scored his third touchdown of the night to extend the Bobcat lead to 24-0 with 1:42 left in the first half. Cupp was intercepted on a last second “Hail Mary” attempt at the end of the half.
The Gamecocks attempted an onside kick as the second half began – something New Brockton has been successful at on multiple occasions this season – but Opp covered it up and would eventually have to settle for a 45-yard field goal that gave the Bobcats a 27-0 lead with 7:31 left in the third quarter.
The Gamecocks turned the ball over on downs at midfield and then the Bobcats also turned the ball over on downs inside the New Brockton 30-yard line. New Brockton turned the ball over on downs again and then the Gamecock defense again stood up as freshman Baylon Foster made an interception in the end zone.
New Brockton then drove into Opp’s red zone for the first time but turned the ball over on downs giving the Bobcats the opportunity to run the clock out.
“The kids played hard in all aspects,” Holmes said. “I don’t think our effort was ever in question and the resiliency we showed in the second half was really good.
“I thought the toughness and effort that it took to continuously compete is worth a lot. We just have to clean up the execution of what we’re trying to do and I think that starts with me. I think I have to do a better job of preparing our guys to play. I have to make sure that we’re ready to play because I’m not real sure we were as prepared as we needed to be to play that ball game.”
Running back Jamarcus Brown led the New Brockton offense with 58 yards on 18 carries, while Cupp rushed for 36 yards on 15 carries and completed 1-of-2 pass attempts for 12 yards and an interception.
Defensively, New Brockton was led by Cupp with nine tackles, one tackle-for-loss and a sack, while Foster added five tackles, one tackle-for-loss and an interception. Tre Boland also chipped in with eight tackles and Brown recorded eight tackles. Drew Cashin recorded five tackles and a tackle-for-loss.