Williams runs wild for 245 yards and 5 touchdowns

The Apopka Blue Darters travelled to Jacksonville tonight to begin their whirlwind tour, which includes three games in the next eight days. And the first leg of that tour went well, as junior running back Cornelius Williams torched the Mustangs for 245 yards and five touchdowns and the Blue Darters ran wild for a 55-12 victory.

Despite a two-hour bus ride, it didn’t take long for the Apopka quick strike offense to acclimate itself to Jacksonville.

On the second play from scrimmage, Williams avoided a Mandarin defender in the backfield, and burst 67 yards for the opening score of the game. After a two-point conversion run by freshman running back Eric Wright, the Blue Darters led 8-0.

With 9:30 left in the first quarter, Mandarin scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Kye Smith to junior wide receiver Kasimir Absolu, but their extra point was blocked, and Apopka kept the lead 8-6.

The Blue Darters wasted little time in scoring again. This time after a seven play drive capped by another Williams touchdown run from 24 yards. The two-point-conversion failed, and Apopka led 14-6.

With 3:15 in the first quarter, Mandarin scored again on a Smith keeper, but the extra point missed, giving Apopka a 14-12 lead.

Five plays and two minutes later, Apopka scored again on its third straight possession when Williams went around end and outran Mandarin defenders for his third touchdown in the first quarter – this time from 32 yards out. The extra point by kicker Titus Vandiver was good and Apopka led 21-12.

At the beginning of the second quarter, the Blue Darters’ fierce rush on Mandarin punter Hudson Levine forced a fumble and recovered, giving Apopka the ball at the Mandarin 34-yard-line. Then on the very next play quarterback Jackson Darlington ran up the middle for a 25-yard-touchdown. The extra point missed, but Apopka led 27-12.

After two straight stops by the Apopka defense, one inside their own 20-yard-line, Williams scored again on an 11-yard-touchdown run and a Vandiver extra point to increase its lead to 34-12 with 5:11 left in the second quarter. Then three minutes later, Williams scored again on a 30-yard touchdown run, and after another Vandiver kick gave the Blue Darters a 41-12 lead.

Darlington added another touchdown midway through the third quarter to give Apopka a 48-12 lead after another Vandiver extra point, which started the running “mercy” clock began (when a team leads by 35 points or more). However that did not end the scoring, as reserve running back Reshard Sibley slipped into the end zone from five yards out, and a Vandiver extra point made it 55-12 to end the third quarter.

Apopka scored touchdowns on eight of its nine possessions, taking a knee on the Mandarin two-yard line to end the game. The Blue Darter defense shutout the Mustangs (who fell to 2-5 on the season) after allowing two scores to begin the game.

The Blue Darters improved its record to 5-1 with the win, heading into a Monday night matchup with rival Dr. Phillips High School, who is also 5-1 on the season, and ranked #1 in the Associated Press State 8A Poll. The Blue Darters are ranked #3. The game is at Dr. Phillips. Kickoff is 7PM.

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