“I was kind of nervous, but I had faith in her. I knew she was going to catch it,” Watts said of Thomas, who had five receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns. “She’s a great receiver. I just had that faith in her.”
Niya Walton stretched Opelika’s lead to 26-0 with an 18-yard run in the final seconds of the first half.
After the halftime break, Thomas added another score to her impressive performance with a 6-yard reception on fourth down from Watts. Watts fired another deep pass nearly six minutes later, this time connecting with Sanders for a 48-yard score to push Opelika ahead 39-0.
Watts completed seven passes for 198 yards and three scores in the victory.
Four plays after Watts’ third and final touchdown pass, Opelika’s I’nayja “Kay Kay” Dowdell made an impressive interception and returned it 55 yards for the game’s seventh and final touchdown.
While Loachapoka (0-1) was held scoreless, the Lady Indians had several standout players, including Destiny Dennis, who had 35 total yards of offense.
The Lady Bulldogs’ success was a welcomed sight for head coach Jaclyn Button, who admitted she wasn’t sure what to expect given her players have only practiced against themselves over the last month and a half.
“Just to see that actually translate into a real game and actually have success [was good]. It was a good opportunity,” Button said. “In the moment, everybody’s going hard and you’re just not even realizing the time’s gone. Everybody just wants, ‘Hey, can I get in? Can I get in?’