Last weekend’s Amateur to Professional Developmental Football League Conference Championships were anticipated to both be extremely close games, but when everything was said and done, they were both blowouts.
“We won by keeping the mistakes down and executing all of our assignments,” Chiefs head coach Hunter Price told Developmental Football USA. “We tell the guys just worry about your job and do your job. Before the game started, me and Coach John Atkins challenged the offensive line and told them if they can get the push, we’re going to lean on them and we’ll be successful.”
The Chiefs offensive line rose to the occasion as Opelika moved the ball at will and went into halftime with a 24-0 lead. Then, in the third quarter, Opelika extended the lead to 38-0 before Prattville got on the board.
“Kyle Caldwell had a good game,” Price said. “He made good plays and made good decisions. Ralph Spry had a good game and scored two big touchdowns and Mike Eiland and Ki-Shawn Powell both had good games. They ran the football when they wanted to and they did a good job against what was supposed to be the best defensive line in the country. They did what they wanted to behind our offensive line.”
Defensively, holding to Patriots – which had been the APDFL’s No. 1 team for several weeks – to six points was a very impressive accomplishment for the Chiefs.
“Vashon Landers has been big for us all year long,” Price said. “Tony Askew, he had an interception at a pivot part of the game and No. 90 up front, Jamarlo Alford, he took on double teams up front and let the linebackers fly around.”
While the Chiefs were silencing the Patriots home crowd, four hours away in Jackson, Miss., the Mississippi Dynasty were dissecting the Hiawayi Robinson Falcons. The Dynasty led 41-0 at half and went on to win 47-0.
However, with a big game of his own to focus on, Price found out the National Conference results later.
“I couldn’t tell you about it,” Price said. “I don’t know much about the game.”
After a long, hard-fought season, it all comes down to what happens on the field Saturday between the two teams who have certainly proven they deserve to be there. For the Chiefs, who fell just short of the 2016 championship to the Oklahoma City Bounty Hunters, the philosophy doesn’t change regardless of playing on the big stage.
“It goes back to worry about your job, worry about your assignment and that’s all we can do at the end of the day,” Price said. “Ever since we started, that’s what we’ve done is worry about you and the rest will take care of itself.”
Now 34-2 all time and with the end in sight, Opelika is ready to win their first ever championship in just the third year of their program.
“It will solidify what we started out to do,” Price said. “We came out the first season 8-0, then came out last year, made it the National Championship, then stubbed our toe a little bit and came up three points short. We felt last year we came up short, so this is about finishing what we set out to do.”