Four wins to go!
The Apopka Blue Darters took an early 8-0 lead against the Evans Trojans Friday night and held on to win 22-13 in the first round of the Class 4M Region 1 playoffs.
It was a defensive struggle for the first three quarters, with the Blue Darters' only score coming in the first quarter when Antwone Robinson blocked a punt and recovered it in the zone. After the touchdown, Reggie McBride ran a two-point conversion into the end zone to make it 8-0.
Evans answered midway through the second quarter when quarterback Chris Peterson ran for a 14-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 8-7.
That score held until the fourth quarter, when the defensive struggle gave way to an offensive show of three touchdowns in the final 10 minutes.
Apopka extended its lead back to eight when quarterback Tyson Davison scored on a 22-yard touchdown run, giving the Blue Darters a 15-7 lead with 10:31 left in the game.
But then, the Trojans responded again.
With 9:26 remaining, Peterson scored again on a 41-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion failed, but Apopka's lead was cut to 15-13.
The Blue Darters closed out the scoring when Jayden Safford scored on a one-yard touchdown run with 4:17 left in the game.
Apopka is in its 24th straight postseason and is 12-1 in first-round games since 2012. Since 2019, the Blue Darters have been 16-4 in playoff games.
Apopka defeated Evans in 17 straight matchups, including a 33-13 win this season in Orlando.
The win gives the Blue Darters an 8-3 record and sends them to Sanford next Friday to face the Seminole High Seminoles in the second round.
Seminole defeated Hagerty 42-3 in the first round and has a 9-2 record this season. The winner of Apopka-Seminole will face the winner of the Lake Mary-Mandarin game in the regional final.