Editor’s Note: This is the 14th in a series of articles published by The Apopka Voice in 2016 that were the most noteworthy events of the year. The Apopka Voice will publish them starting Monday, December 26th and running until Sunday, January 1st. On January, 2nd we will publish a poll and let the readers decide on which story is the most impactful of the year.
Apopka blast Evans 43-6, Mustangs beat West Orange 49-20, both advance to playoffs
First Published: October 27th, 2016
The Apopka Blue Darters capped off a perfect undefeated season with a 43-6 victory over the Evans Trojans. Apopka finished the season 9-0 and 3-0 in 8A District 4. It was Apopka’s first undefeated regular season since 1994, and Head Coach Rick Darlington’s first undefeated season in 15 years.
In another first, senior quarterback Trey McGee threw for 244 yards and three touchdowns, and senior running back Jaylon Fair ran for 173 yards and three touchdowns as the Wekiva Mustangs ran wild on the West Orange Warriors 49-20, which gave the Mustangs a 6-3 record, 2-1 in the district and a second place finish, which propels the Mustangs into the playoffs for the first time as a member of 8A District 4. Wekiva takes on Winter Park in the first round on November 11th.
Enjoy those wins Apopka and Wekiva, because in two weeks the post season begins and records mean nothing.
The Blue Darters did what they do in most games, with 319 total yards and seven touchdowns, but in the first five minutes of the game, it looked like they may be looking ahead to the playoffs.
The Trojans surprised Apopka on the opening drive with a 10-play 60-yard march down the field that was highlighted by a 39-yard reception by senior wideout Darryl Gay from senior quarterback Kimani Binder on third down and long. Three plays later on third-and-goal on the 17-yard line, Binder found Gay again in the end zone giving Evans the opening score. The extra point was missed, but Evans took the lead 6-0.
But it was a short-lived lead.
The Trojans chose to short kick the kickoff 20 yards to junior return specialist Cayvian Holmes, who caught the high kick on the Apopka 40-yard-line, ran towards the middle of the field, picked up blockers and turned the corner, running 58 yards to the Evans 2-yard-line. One play later senior running back Jordan Thompson blasted through for a 2-yard touchdown run. Senior running back Deshawn Massey went around left end for a two-point-conversion and Apopka took the lead 8-6.
On the very next play from scrimmage, Holmes was back in the headlines with an interception off a Binder pass and return of 40 yards for a touchdown. The extra point by Logan Minniear made it 15-6 with 7:06 left in the first quarter.
The Blue Darters scored again on their next possession with an eight-play 77-yard drive when senior quarterback Demetri Burch scored on a 44-yard touchdown run. After Minniear’s kick, Apopka led 22-6 with 10:38 left in the second quarter.
Burch scored again five minutes later when he ran a quarterback draw up the middle, bounced off two Evans defenders for a 29-yard touchdown run. A two-point conversion failed, but Apopka extended its lead to 28-6 with 4:10 remaining in the half.
Holmes, a human highlights film in the first half, scored again with a 37-yard punt return for a touchdown, but it was called back on an illegal block in the back penalty, however Thompson scored again on the very next play with a 39-yard touchdown run. Minniear’s kick made it 35-6, which is how the half ended.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, Massey ran for 52 yards, to the Evans 15 yard line, and then scored on the next play with a 15-yard touchdown run, followed by a two-point conversion run to make it 43-6.
After the Massey touchdown, the “mercy running clock” started, second team players went in for both teams, and the game ended quickly thereafter.
This was a high-water-mark for both teams as Apopka went on to lose its first round playoff matchup to Timber Creek 40-39, and Wekiva lost to Winter Park 29-21.