ORLANDO With just under one minute left in the game and Oak Ridge on the verge of taking the lead, Ocoee’s defense stepped up to force a turnover-on-downs with 1:42 left in the game, sealing the 14-8 win for the Knights.
“I’m proud of both sides of the ball,” Ocoee head coach Jason Boltus said. “On offense we moved the ball up and down the field — we just turned it over, shooting ourselves in the foot, but those are things that are correctable. The defense played great.”
“It’s much easier to correct things in a win than it is in a loss. We won, we go back to the film, correct all of the things — and there’s a lot of learning still left to be done. It’s early in the season, but I think we showed what kind of team we have and the talent we have on the field.”
After neither team was able to score in the first quarter, the Knights were able to get on the scoreboard first on a touchdown pass from Myles Holder to Jeremiah Fails with 5:24 remaining in the second quarter.
The score remained 7-0 through the third quarter.
Ocoee would score once more in the fourth quarter, on a 25 yard touchdown pass from Holder to Nathaniel Fonseca, to increase the Knights lead to 14-0 with 8:39 left in the game.
Oak Ridge would respond by scoring on the following drive, on a long touchdown pass from Darvion Bailey to Marcus Taylor. The Pioneers would convert on the two point conversion to trim the Knights lead to 14-8 with 7:51 remaining.
Oak Ridge threatened to score again as they were deep in Knights territory with under two minutes to go in the game, but Ocoee’s defense was able to get one last stop on fourth down with 1:42 left in the game to seal the win.
Holder led the Knights offense, overcoming two turnovers to throw two touchdowns.
“Myles did a great job,” said Boltus of the quarterback’s performance. “He had a tipped ball that got picked and one he overthrew, but for the most part he played pretty well.”
On defense Ocoee had multiple sacks, an interception by Jules Hall, fumble recovered by Hunter Mercer and two turnovers on downs.
Next Friday Ocoee hosts the Apopka Blue Darters.
“We know what’s at stake,” said Boltus on playing Apopka. “We know the perennial power that they are and what type of team they are so we have to regroup, over the weekend get healthy, and come ready to play 48 minutes of football. That’s what it’s going to take — a full physical game just like we did tonight.”