It may only be the first week of the football season, but things are already getting interesting for local teams.
Football season is here, and it has started off with a bang for schools in the area.
Winter Park, Orangewood and Trinity Prep had explosive offensive nights, while Edgewater finally was able to take down longtime rival Bishop Moore in a game that will go down in the annals of the Eagles’ football program.
There were blowouts, highlight-reel moments and the usual pomp and circumstance that comes with the start of football season — and we’re here for all of it.
WILDCATS ON PARADE
Some teams make winning games look easy, and Winter Park is one of those teams.
At least that was the case when the Wildcats (1-0) ran over Lake Nona (0-1) with the force of a Mack truck.
Although the Lions’ defense held the Wildcats in check for the first quarter — only giving up an Alec Boe 36-yard field goal — a 43-yard pick-six by Wildcats’ CB Daniel Edwards seemed to fire the home side up to 11.
Seemingly every time the packed crowd at Showalter Field could look up at the scoreboard, the Wildcats had scored another touchdown.
The biggest explosion for the boys in black and orange came in the form of senior RB Tyrone Davis, whose 120 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries made the Lions’ defense feel completely nonexistent. Davis alone averaged enough yards per carry (8.6) to come close to picking up first downs for the ‘Cats by himself.
“I felt like our line came together — it was a little shaky in the first half, and then we had to pick it up,” said Davis after Friday’s game against Lake Nona. “All of them came together, and we were just rolling.”
A big story coming into this season for the Wildcats was seeing who would replace last year’s starter — and team co-captain — Cameron LeGree. The answer: senior Gino English.
Despite a passing line of 8-for-20, English still picked up 141 passing yards while grabbing three touchdowns overall (two passing and one rushing).
The Wildcats will face off next against another offense-driven team in Oviedo (1-0) — which beat Timber Creek 48-0 last week. The game will take place Friday, Aug. 31.
EAGLES TAKE THE BATTLE OF COLLEGE PARK
Some games simply feel bigger than the others. In Edgewater’s case, the Battle of College Park is just that.
But for a rivalry to be taken seriously, you have to show you can win games every now and then — something the Eagles (1-0) have struggled to do against Bishop Moore (0-1) for almost three decades.
On Friday, Aug. 24, however, the Eagles put an end to a 27-year drought as they squeaked by the Hornets in a 24-20 win.
Despite a huge night from Hornets’ WR Dylan Brazil — who tossed a 41-yard bomb for a touchdown and picked up 97 yards and two TDs on five passes — it was Eagles’ SS/OLB DJ Hampton and senior QB RJ Harvey who stole the show.
Hampton pulled off a blocked punt in the second quarter, which he promptly recovered in the end zone for the touchdown. The score would put the Eagles up for good.
Meanwhile, Harvey — who tossed the rock for 73 yards and a touchdown on five-for-16 passing — ran circles around the Hornets’ defense for 162 yards and another touchdown.
The Eagles hope to follow up their big win with another as they travel to Colonial (0-0) to take on the Grenadiers Friday, Aug. 31. The Hornets will attempt to get back to .500 against Lake Brantley (1-0).
SAINTS ON HIGH
Last season, Trinity Prep went 8-2 behind an offense that averaged almost 45 points per game, as they almost outscored opponents two to one.
Well, this year seems to be on the same kind of offensive pace. The Saints (1-0) went on a rampage in their 42-0 blanking of Four Corners (0-1).
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the high-flying Saints would continue their offensive onslaught as the offense returned six starters from last year — including key cogs in the machine with QB Spencer Fetter and WRs Kenny Hill and Tommy Tight. Fetter alone has made up a large part of the offense during his time with the Saints. Last year, he threw for more than 2,600 yards while scoring 31 touchdowns.
If trends are to be believed, the Saints upcoming game against the high scoring Master’s Academy (1-0) on Friday, Aug. 31, could require multiple scoreboards to keep track with the scoring put up by both sides.
THE RUNNIN’ RAMS
Plenty of players around the area had highlight moments Friday night, but fewer had a game that was nothing but highlights.
In Orangewood Christian’s 27-7 win over Cocoa Beach, junior RB Anthony Brown had a night to remember as he rushed for a whopping 203 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.
Although the offense was a bit sluggish out of the gate — not scoring until the second quarter — once Brown got into his groove, nothing was going to stop him.
As soon as the junior found the smallest of openings, he bum rushed through and streaked past defenders like they were standing still.
Credit also should be given to the Rams’ defense, as it stifled any kind of offense the Minutemen threw at them. It surrendered only 179 total yards and a lone touchdown in fourth quarter when the game was well out of reach.
Luckily for Brown and the rest of the team, the Rams will get a bit of time off as they get the early BYE this week, before taking on The Master’s Academy Friday, Sep. 7.