West Orange football stumbles against Jones | Observer Preps

West Orange’s bid for consecutive wins against state-ranked football teams fell short Oct. 5, as the Warriors ultimately fell to Jones High 41-31.

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  • | 1:00 a.m. October 6, 2018
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West Orange’s bid for consecutive wins against state-ranked football teams fell short Oct. 5. The Warriors got off to a fast start against visiting Jones High by scoring a touchdown during the opening minutes of the first quarter, but it was mostly an uphill struggle thereafter. 

Avarius Sparrow ran for three second-half scores, and the Tigers pulled away in the final period for a 41-31 victory at Raymond Screws Field.

West Orange (5-2) had its four-game winning streak come to an end, which featured a last-second 30-29 triumph in Week 6 against then second-ranked Wekiva (Class 8A). Jones (5-1) entered this week ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press Class 5A state poll, having outscored its previous four opponents by a 190-34 combined margin.

West Orange also played a state-ranked 5A team in Week 2, losing 49-42 to visiting Rockledge.

“I knew it was going to be a tough game tonight (against Jones),” West Orange coach Bob Head said. “But I thought we wanted it enough and we didn’t.”

West Orange senior quarterback Elijah Stimmell completed 29 of 44 passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns in Friday’s loss. Stimmell, who was back in the starting lineup after exiting last week’s Wekiva game with a lower-leg injury, also ran for a 5-yard score in the final seconds.

Stimmell found Darrell Harding down the sideline for a 29-yard touchdown pass on West Orange’s second play from scrimmage. Colton Scharfeld kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead at the 9:30 mark of the first quarter, but that would be the Warriors’ final point of the opening half as they fell behind 12-7 at intermission.

West Orange’s final six first-half drives resulted in three lost fumbles, two punts, and a turnover on downs.

“We started off with a touchdown and I thought we had a lot of momentum going,” Head said. “Then we turned the ball over three straight times and no points. We had matchups we wanted, but we just couldn’t make plays.”

"We had matchups we wanted, but we just couldn’t make plays."

— Bob Head, coach

With West Orange trailing 27-21 early in the fourth quarter, Tyler Jones intercepted Tigers quarterback Demetrius Boney at the Jones 31-yard line. However, the Warriors were backed up 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct following the pick and West Orange eventually punted on fourth-and-18 from the 44.

West Orange scored a safety when Boney was penalized for intentional grounding in the end zone with 8:15 remaining to make it 27-23. Nemea Hall returned the ensuing free kick to the Jones 45-yard line, but the Warriors turned the ball over on downs following an incomplete pass on a fourth-and-3 play.

Sparrow then went 68 yards for a touchdown on the next play.

“That was the knife in the back,” Head said. “We had the opportunity, but we just couldn’t get it done.”


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