Valley freshmen hang tight with Opelika, fall 21-14 in spring game

Published 11:44 am Tuesday, May 21, 2019

OPELIKA — The Valley freshman football team lost its spring game 21-14 at Opelika last Friday night.

“I was really proud of our guys [Friday night],” Valley head freshman football coach Thomas Hill said. “They really exceeded my expectations.”

Onaji Jackson led Valley rushers with 70 yards on the ground, while Titus Patton completed four-of-five passes for 91 passing yards in the contest. Patton also ran for 22 yards in the effort.

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The Bulldogs opened up with a touchdown with 6:25 to go in the first quarter. Forty seconds later, Valley responded with a run from Jackson to tie the game at 7. Opelika then scored right before halftime to take a 14-7 lead.

The Rams made a big stop in the red zone to begin the second half, recovering from a team turnover on the prior offensive possession.

With 7:50 to go in the fourth quarter, Patton completed a 50-yard touchdown pass to Jamarious Martin to tie the game at 14. In addition to being the team’s leading receiver on the night, Martin also finished with 28 yards on the ground.

Opelika then ended the game with the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“We fought punch-by-punch with them,” Hill said. “They scored at the end with a lot of substitutions going on, but I love the effort. We scored two of three possessions and the defense made some stops. The exciting thing is we are nowhere close to a final product. The future is bright.”

Quen Story led the defense with three tackles, while David McCoy, Taysean Darden, Kolby Null, Mark Madden and Caden Cook also had two tackles in the contest. On the offensive side of the ball, Kenneth Stephens and Jakari Dunn also caught passes, and Braylan Lynch also gained some yardage on the ground.