On October 4th, the Apopka Blue Darters traveled to Camping World Stadium in Orlando to face the Jones Tigers. And to Apopka's surprise, Jones scored three touchdowns in the first two quarters and led the Blue Darters 21-0 at halftime.
But then a funny thing happened that night and into the next two games for Apopka - no one has scored on them since.
Apopka's second-half rally fell short as they lost to Jones 21-12, but then they followed that game with two straight shutout victories of District 8A-4 opponents West Orange (10-0), and Orlando Evans (28-0). In total, the Blue Darters have outscored their opponents 50-0 in the last 10 quarters.
Apopka, now 6-1 and 4-0 in the district, take that momentum into a matchup against the Lake Mary Rams that will decide the District 8A-4 championship. The Rams, 5-3 and 3-1 in the district, are coming off a 35-14 win over Ocoee. This would be the first district title for Apopka since 2016.
The Blue Darters, after those two straight shutout wins, are ranked #5 in the Associated Press Florida High School 8A poll. They are also ranked #3 in the RPI playoff poll in 8A Region 1. A win against the Rams would guarantee the Blue Darters a home playoff game in the first round.
The Wekiva Mustangs, now 6-2 on the season, face the South Lake Eagles (of Groveland) in a game the Mustangs must win to keep pace in their playoff hopes in Class 7A. The Eagles are 3-5 on the season and are in the midst of a three-game losing streak, including a 42-24 loss to Springstead last week.
Wekiva was unranked in the AP 7A top 10 this week but did receive votes, essentially giving them a #12 ranking (two teams are tied for the 10th spot). But more importantly, they are ranked #4 in the 7A Region 1 RPI playoff poll, which means if the playoffs started today, Wekiva would qualify for the fourth straight season.
Both games (Lake Mary at Apopka, and South Lake at Wekiva) kickoff at 7 PM tonight, and check The Apopka Voice Facebook page this evening for live updates, and final score alerts.
Here are this week's Associated Press rankings as voted on by a panel of state newspaper sportswriters. Teams are listed with first-place votes in parentheses, records, rating points and their ranking from the previous week:
Class 8A Record Pts Prv
1. Sanford Seminole (8) 8-0 89 2
2. Bartram Trail (1) 8-0 79 3
3. Vero Beach7-0 72 4
4. South Dade7-1 59 1
5. Apopka 6-1 49 6
6. Miami Palmetto7-1 39 7
7. Western 6-1 33 5
8. Kissimmee Osceola 7-1 19 10
9. George Steinbrenner 8-0 18 NR
10. Douglas 7-0 16 9
Others receiving votes: Flagler Palm Coast 6, Deerfield Beach 6, Dr. Phillips 5, Treasure Coast 5.
Class 7A Record Pts Prv
1. St. Thomas Aquinas (6)7-0 87 1
2. Lakeland (3) 9-0 84 2
3. Armwood 7-1 69 3
4. Palm Beach Lakes 7-0 60 4
5. Edgewater 7-1 51 5
6. Niceville 8-0 50 6
7. Plantation6-1 33 8
8. Bloomingdale 6-2 14 7
9. Fleming Island7-0 12 NR
10. Lincoln 5-2 10 10
(tie) Atlantic Community 5-2 10 9
Others receiving votes: Wekiva 6, Wiregrass Ranch 4, Venice 4, Viera 1