West Orange football scores first-ever playoff win
| 11:15 p.m. November 14, 2014
It was a win more than three decades in the making.
The West Orange Warriors rallied after falling behind 21-7 to Timber Creek early, scoring 35 unanswered points for a 42-21 victory in the FHSAA Class 8A Regional Quarterfinals — the first playoff win in school history.
"We just literally willed ourselves to stay in this game — they came out and hit us like nobody's business," coach Bob Head said. "Our kids fought and never panicked."
The first quarter was the Jacques Patrick show as the senior running back for Timber Creek and Florida State commit played quarterback for the Wolves out of the Wildcat. Patrick rushed for two touchdowns and tossed another in that first quarter.
The Warriors (11-0) rallied, though, led by several big runs by senior running back Dexter Williams. Williams scored three of West Orange's first four touchdowns.
"I just told myself to stay humble," Williams said. "I got the boys believing and next think you know we just turned this game around."
Starting quarterback Woody Barrett rushed for a touchdown in the first half but was visibly not feeling well and came out of the game in the second half, but the Warriors didn't miss a beat as senior quarterback Gunnar Ballant stepped in and led two scoring drives – one of which ended with a touchdown pass from Ballant to Eddie McDoom.
"I've been waiting for (the opportunity)," Ballant said. "Woody is a heck of a player and hopefully he is alright."
As the Warriors celebrated the program's first ever playoff win, they learned that Apopka had edged Oviedo in that regional quarterfinal matchup — meaning the Blue Darters and West Orange will again take the field at Raymond Screws Stadium.
This time, though, someone's season will end at game's end. Head acknowledged that beating a rival twice in a season is quite a task but expressed optimism his boys would be up for it.
"It's not easy," Head said. "But I feel like it's our time and we're ready."