Despite a comeback attempt from the Lake Howell Silver Hawks, the Ocoee Knights were able to get one last stop on defense and secure a 28-19 win on homecoming night.
After falling behind 7-0 following a touchdown by the Silver Hawks (2-5, 1-3) on their opening drive, the Knights went on to score 22 straight points to head into halftime up 22-7.
Following a turnover on downs on their first drive of the second half, Ocoee (4-4, 3-2) got the ball right back on an interception from Kendall Bohler. Just two plays later, Nicholas Wright ran 16 yards for his second rushing touchdown of the night to extend the Knights lead to 28-7 with 8:06 left in the 3rd quarter.
Lake Howell wouldn’t go quietly though, as they went on to score 12 straight points of their own to cut the Knights' lead to 28-19 with 7:14 left in the game.
On the following kickoff, Lake Howell recovered the kick at Ocoee’s 26 yard line. This time though, the Knights defense would get the stop on fourth down with 4:19 left in the game, securing their second straight district win in as many weeks.
“We fought hard,” Ocoee head coach Aaron Sheppard said. “(The defense) did a good job. They (relaxed) a little bit, but they did good.”
Wright turned in another stellar performance, as he threw one touchdown to Jeremiah Fails and ran for two more. Last week, Wright ran and threw four touchdowns against the West Port Wolves in their 77-67 win.
“He turned it on,” Sheppard said of Wright’s play as of late. “He’s getting better and better. He made some good decisions, he did some good things.”
Dexter Rentz scored the other touchdown of the game on a 35-yard run.
The win brings Ocoee to .500. Of the Knights' four losses, three of them have come by a combined-total of nine points.
Despite long odds of making the playoffs, Sheppard said afterward he is seeing positive changes in the team's culture.
“They’re buying in,” Sheppard said. “We’re just short in a few places.”
Following a bye week, the Knights will be back in action on October 25 against Lake Minneola to celebrate senior night.