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Blue Darter offense looks human vs. DeLand


Defense becomes the feature against the Bulldogs

It was bound to happen.

The Apopka Blue Darters came back down to earth. After scoring 144 points in its first two games, the offense finally looked human.

They fumbled. They threw an interception. They punted. They faced several third downs. They dealt with penalties. They called time-outs.

Despite the struggles, the Blue Darters still managed to beat the DeLand Bulldogs 35-0, but on this night it was the defense that was the exclamation point, pitching its second straight shutout and allowing only 7 points in its three games. On this night the defense swarmed the Bulldogs, forced multiple turnovers and killed several drives on quarterback sacks.

Once again, Apopka got off to a fast start, with senior quarterback Demetri Burch scoring on the sixth play of the game with a 32-yard touchdown run around the right sideline. A Logan Minnier extra point gave the Blue Darters a 7-0 lead with 9:33 left in the first quarter.

That’s how the first quarter ended. The Blue Darter's other two first quarter drives ended in a fumble, and a three-and-out punt.

In the second quarter, Apopka plowed its way into a stacked Deland line that often saw nine players lined up "in-the-box" to defend against the Blue Darters potent running attack. They took 15 plays and 6:10 off the clock to score on senior running back Deshawn Massey’s 4-yard touchdown run. Minnier’s extra point made it 14-0.

Just two plays later senior cornerback Jarvis Ware intercepted a Deland pass and streaked down the sideline for the Blue Darters third touchdown of the night. It was the first “pick-six” for Apopka this season. Another extra point by Minnier gave Apopka a 21-0 lead with 6:00 remaining in the half.unnamed (6)

On its final drive of the first half, Apopka switched from its single wing offensive formation to a spread formation and featured the passing game. Burch hit senior running back Jordan Thompson on a sideline route for a 25-yard gain, and then another 12 yards on a screen pass to get the ball to the Deland 29-yard line. After an inside screen to Massey netted three yards, and two incomplete passes to Thompson, Burch hit Massey on an inside shovel pass for a 26-yard touchdown reception on a 4th down and 7 conversion. Minnier’s kick made it 28-0, which is how it stayed at halftime.

The Blue Darters closed out the scoring on the very first drive of the second half when Burch hit senior wide receiver Damaris August on an 18-yard touchdown reception, followed by a Minnier extra point, giving Apopka a 35-point lead.

There were also many defensive highlights.

Junior defensive end Mychal Austin recovered a Deland fumble, junior strong safety Kamron Williams and sophomore defensive tackle Lawrence Lockhart also had sacks that ended DeLand drives, and preserved the Blue Darter shutout – the second straight game in which its opponents came away with no points.

The win gives the Blue Darters a 3-0 record and should be convincing enough for them to maintain their #1 ranking in the Associated Press Florida High School 8A poll. Deland falls to 1-2. Apopka has outscored its three opponents 175-7!

Next week Apopka will meet its toughest foe of the season when it faces the Dr. Phillips High School Panthers, who defeated West Orange High School 40-3 tonight to run its record to 3-0 on the season.

Last season Apopka defeated Dr. Phillips 22-20.

The game is at Roger Williams Field on the campus of Apopka High School. Game time is changed to 7:34PM to accommodate Brighthouse Networks who are featuring it as the game of the week.


Apopka High School Football


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