OCOEE — Momentum was going Ocoee’s way on Homecoming Oct. 2, when it hosted Hagerty and scored 10 straight points to cut its halftime deficit to four points.
An in-sync offense that was doing all but scoring in the first half struggled in the third quarter, when Ocoee quarterback Steve Hogan followed a near-interception with another incomplete pass on third and 13 from his 30-yard line.
At least, that is what the Knights (2-3, 1-2) thought.
Officials converged and then determined the Ocoee receiver had caught the pass and fumbled, with the Huskies (3-2, 2-1) recovering.
“That’s always going to take the wind out of your sails a little bit, but with a sudden change defensively, you’ve got to be ready to play and be able to stop them when that happens,” head coach Ben Bullock said. “That’s the sign of a great defense and a true playoff team. Those things are going to happen.”
On the next play, Curtis Duren caught the winning touchdown with 4:44 left in the third quarter, just as the rain was subsiding.
But for Ocoee, a drizzle of mistakes became a storm.
A sack on third and eight forced another three-and-out. Then the Huskies blocked the punt attempt, plunging into the end zone from the Ocoee 2 on the next play to make it 28-10 just like that, still 2:25 left in the quarter.
“You just lost to a more disciplined team, who works harder and came ready to play,” Bullock told his players after the game. “That’s because they practiced. That’s not because they’re better than us.”