CLERMONT When the East Ridge Knights scored on their very first drive of the game — in front of a raucous home crowd, no less — the concern for Ocoee Knights head coach Ben Bullock and his staff was there.
Fortunately, the visiting Knights recovered and responded.
Ocoee (2-2, 2-0 in district) outscored East Ridge (2-2, 0-1 in district) 21-0 in the second and third quarters Friday night, ultimately winning the battle of the Knights, 21-12.
"We got hit in the mouth a little bit that first series," Bullock said. "We settled down, did what we do and we attacked. We were lights out the rest of the game."
Ocoee would score twice in the second quarter to take a 14-6 lead into halftime. Then, receiving the opening kickoff of the second half, senior B.J. Bohler ran back a touchdown that definitively shifted the game in Ocoee's favor.
"It was enormous," Bullock said. "That kickoff return just kind of took some air out of (East Ridge's) sails a little bit."
From there, Ocoee's defense continued to disrupt the East Ridge offensive attack in turning in one of its strongest performances of the fall.
"(Luis) Rivera was in the backfield the entire time — (Lyston) Barber obviously does what Barber does," Bullock said. "We had guys come up and make great tackles in the open field."
For Ocoee: The Knights will take on defending district champion Hagerty on the road in Oviedo in Week Six. The Huskies (4-0) are also undefeated in district play at 2-0 and defeated Ocoee 28-17 in 2015.
"It's like how I say to the kids: 'It's the most important game of the season because it's the next game,'" Bullock said. "It's going to be fun getting ready for that. ... We're looking at two great teams going at it for supremacy in the district."
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].