Tuesday Morning Quarterback

Apopka 47, Ocoee 0

“Leave no doubt.”

It’s a phrase emblazoned on the t-shirts supporters of the Apopka Blue Darters were wearing at the Friday night game against the Ocoee Knights, and it was an appropriate motto. The Blue Darters, ranked #5 in the Associated Press State 8-A poll, scored early and often, and never gave the Ocoee Knights a breath of hope in routing them 47-0 in the season opener for both teams.

There was no doubt.

Senior running back Cornelius Williams scored on an 89-yard kickoff return on the game’s very first play, and two more times on rushing touchdowns in the first half as Apopka took a 34-0 lead into the locker room. The exclamation point came on a spectacular 100-yard interception return by junior cornerback Anthony Fieldings just before the end of the second quarter.

Junior quarterback Jackson Darlington also threw two touchdown passes; one to junior Akeem Brown in the first half from eight yards out, and the other to junior wide receiver Fred Young on Apopka’s first play from scrimmage in the second half on a catch and run from 56 yards. Brown also scored on a 12-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Despite an overwhelming offensive showing, it was the defense who shined equally, not only shutting out the Knights but also holding them to 47 total yards.

The Blue Darters head to St. John’s, Florida (near Jacksonville) to play the Bartram Trail Bears next Friday. The Bears finished last season 11-4, making it to the state finals (7-A). They are currently 1-0 on the 2018 season after defeating Brunswick (Ga.) 35-12 in its opener.

Wekiva 17, Jones 3

It was a noteworthy pre-season for the Wekiva Mustangs. State and national rankings, college signings and pre-season victories showered the Mustangs with praise after their most successful season in 2017.

But reputations and last season rarely win football games.

Reality set in Friday night when the Jones High School Tigers traveled to Wekiva for the opening season contest for both teams. The Mustangs vaunted defense did the heavy lifting, holding the Tigers to just 127 yards of total yardage and three points en route to a 17-3 victory.

Wekiva, ranked #1 in the Associated Press State 8-A poll, and #55 in the High School Football America Top 100 poll, struggled offensively but progressed enough to claim the win.

Leading 3-0, the Mustangs scored their first touchdown of the season following an interception by senior strong safety Brandon Hill late in the first half when Malcolm Green, a senior wide receiver, caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Sean Robles in the corner of the end zone.

The Tigers cut the lead to 10-3 in the fourth quarter, but the Mustangs put the game out of reach when they scored on a three-yard touchdown pass from Robles to senior wide receiver Malik Tolbert.

Wekiva (1-0) travels to Georgia next week to play North Gwinnett High School in the finale of the Freedom Bowl. North Gwinnett won the Class 7-A Georgia state championship last season and is ranked #48 nationally in the High School Football America Top 100 poll. They are currently 1-0 after a 37-2 victory over Brookwood (Ga.) in its season opener.

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