New Brockton dropped its delayed season opener to Opp 43-16 on Friday night.
Head coach Zack Holmes insisted the delay – it was the visiting Gamecocks’ opener and the Bobcats' (2-1) third game – was no excuse.
“We just didn’t play up to the level that we can,” Holmes said. “You’ve got to improve. Most teams improve the most from Week 1 to Week 2. We need to get better in all facets of the game.”
The coach said special teams play was a disappointment, particularly DaDa Stoudemire’s 35-yard punt return for a touchdown.
“We have to do a better job on coverage teams,” he said. “We gave up a return for a touchdown. We didn’t do that all last season. We’ve got to get that cleaned up.
“We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the football offensively. We had three turnovers – two interceptions and a fumble. One was at the end of the half and that one didn’t really hurt us. The other two can’t happen.”
Holmes credited Opp, calling the Bobcats “a really good football team.” Opp quarterback Hal Smithart was 17-for-24 passing for 218 yards and a touchdown. Kevin Parreira rushed for two TDs on short runs from the wildcat formation and Peyton Ellis had a rushing touchdown.
Curt Zorn had six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. Robbie Gafford had six catches for 54 yards.
Cole Jennings had 10 tackles, two were quarterback sacks against New Brockton’s Kaden Cupp. Jesse Coon also had two sacks.
There were bright spots, especially early in the game.
“We kicked off and the defense stopped them with a three-and-out, and we got the ball and went right down the field for a touchdown,” Holmes said. “I don’t know if we thought it was going to be easy from that point or what. We had a punt team blunder and we never got the momentum back.”
Cupp was 8-for-16 passing for 96 yards. He also rushed 17 times for 53 yards and a touchdown. Jamarcus Brown had 17 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Andrew Cashin had five tackles, three behind the lines of scrimmage including a sack of Smithart, and recorded a safety. Tra Boland had six tackles and recovered a fumble. Colton Marsh had an interception for the Gamecocks.
“Eight of the 11 guys that started on defense and six of the 11 on offense started their first varsity football game last night,” Holmes said. “Three of the five offensive linemen are sophomores. For a lot of them, we’ve got to grow up in a hurry.”
Follow Ken Rogers on Twitter @debamabeat.
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