by Jean Racine | Correspondant
WINTER GARDEN In a game littered with big plays, the visiting Apopka Blue Darters — and specifically senior quarterback Demetri Burch — made more of them in a 56-20 win over the West Orange Warriors.
Burch, a USF commit, ran for three touchdowns and threw two more in the blowout victory for Apopka (6-0, 1-0 district).
“[Burch is] our leader, our quarterback — [he] did some great things,” Blue Darters head coach Rick Darlington said. “He’s been a player for us for four years and (I) just love him as a young man, as our quarterback ... he’s a special young man.”
Burch got the scoring going for Apopka on the first drive of the game, leading the Blue Darters right down the field and eventually connecting on a touchdown pass to senior tight end Paul Fitzgerald. Among the rushing highlights for Burch was a 61-yard scamper into the end zone.
“I wouldn’t be able to do it without my brothers, without their play,” Burch said afterward. “I just give all the thanks to God and my brothers.”
Big plays were the theme in this rivalry match, and though the Warriors (1-5, 0-1 district) lost by a significant margin, they did have some of those big plays to their credit — including a 59-yard touchdown run by running back Darian Williams.
Unfortunately, though the Warriors trailed just 21-14 early, they would not keep pace with the undefeated Darters.
“We had some opportunities early, we made some plays,” said West Orange head coach Bob Head. “As the game went on we had some big plays that we didn’t make. I tip my hat to Apopka’s defense — they made it tough.”
Apopka pulled away from West Orange in the second quarter, building a 28-point lead by halftime.
“(We) really put up some good numbers against a good opponent,” Darlington said. “We ran the ball well — we had four rushers over one-hundred yards, which is really rare and that’s good to do.”
Burch was injured midway during the third quarter and did not return, though afterward he said he would be available to practice Monday.
For Apopka: The Blue Darters will return home for a non-district matchup against Olympia (4-1).
For West Orange: The brutal schedule for the Warriors continues along when they host Lake Nona (4-1).