Three games in 8 days will shape their midseason

Hurricanes, lightning/rain delays, cancellations, and postponements were the unexpected features of the Apopka Blue Darters early season schedule. But the midseason schedule will have a completely different feature – a whirlwind tour. In the next eight days, Apopka’s midseason will be shaped. A road game in Jacksonville, a Monday night rivalry, and a district home game will all happen in the coming week.

And it all starts tonight.

The Blue Darters begin their eight-day odyssey in Jacksonville tonight where they play the Mandarin Mustangs. The Mustangs are 2-4 on the season after finishing 6-2 in 2016. Apopka takes a 4-1 record into the game after defeating the Evans Trojans 57-12 last week.

Then only three days later the Blue Darters travel to the campus of Dr. Phillips High School to play a rare Monday night game against the #1 ranked Panthers (in the 8A State High School Poll). Dr. Phillips is also 4-1 on the season after losing to Wekiva High School 14-0 last night. Apopka is ranked #3 in the same state poll.

Last season the Blue Darters came into the game 3-0 and ranked #1 in state polls, while the Panthers were also 3-0 and ranked #2. The game was a classic, with Apopka rallying from a 14-point halftime deficit with two second-half touchdowns and an ad-libbed 2-point conversion by quarterback Demitri Burch to edge Dr. Phillips 15-14.

The come-from-behind victory was eerily similar to 2015 when Apopka trailed 20-6 at halftime but rallied past the Panthers 22-20.

Apopka leads the all-time series 15-8.

Finally, Apopka returns to Roger Williams Field in eight days to face the West Orange Warriors in the second of three District 8A-4 games. Apopka is 1-0 in the district, while West Orange is 0-1 in district play, and 2-3 overall after a district loss to Wekiva 21-14 last week.

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