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Darters will soon be focused on "the second season"


Closes regular season tonight, begins playoffs Nov. 11th

The Apopka Blue Darters will put the finishing touches on a momentous regular season tonight at Roger Williams Field on the campus of Apopka High School when they battle district foe Evans High School.

It would be easy to look ahead. Apopka already won the 8A District 4 title for the first time since 2013. They clinched a playoff berth. They know their opponent in the first round - a home game against Timber Creek.

However there is still historical incentive on the line for this year - an undefeated season.

With a win over the 2-5 Trojans, the Blue Darters will finish 9-0 and claim their first undefeated regular season since 1994.

And the likelihood is that this game will get out of hand early.

Evans lost their district games to Wekiva 27-6 and West Orange 48-0. Apopka beat Wekiva 38-31 and West Orange 56-20. If common opponents are any indication of this game's outcome, the result won't be in doubt for long.

However it's unlikely a veteran coach like Rick Darlington and a senior-led team like Apopka will look ahead to a game two weeks away, but there is no harm in a writer doing it.

When the Blue Darters open their playoff campaign, they will face a Timber Creek team that is currently 5-2 and has clinched a playoff berth. They lost their opening game to Oviedo 20-19, and a tough district game to Winter Park 7-0, but rebounded with wins over Boone (30-20) and Colonial (48-6) which clinched second place in 8A District 3.

Oviedo and Winter Park found a way to stop Timber Creek, but only Hurricane Matthew has stopped Apopka. The Blue Darters only setback (for lack of a better phrase) was a cancelled game with Olympia High School that they could not coax the Olympians to re-schedule. Otherwise it has been six blowouts, two fourth quarter come-from-behind wins, outrageous offensive performances, consistent breakaway runs and second half "running" clocks that have been the norm this season.

The Blue Darters are on a phenomenal roll this season, but everything changes in November. One bad game and a phenomenal season can end in shocking disappointment. Will Apopka continue this run all the way through November and December? Or will it end suddenly with one heart-breaking loss?

Only the second season will answer that question.

Kickoff for the Evans game is at 7PM. The playoff game against Timber Creek on November 11th starts at 7:30PM.

Apopka Blue Darters, Evans High School, Timber Creek High School


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