High school football teams approach mid-season mark

The football season feels like it just started, but for many schools, their teams are approaching the halfway point of the season.

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  • | 1:39 p.m. October 14, 2020
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If you’ve blinked at all during this odd, shortened football season, there’s a good chance you missed a lot.

But regardless of the handful of canceled games because of COVID-19, a lot has happened over the last few weeks, and the West Orange area has been able to enjoy some incredible moments and thrilling games. 

Here, we take quick look at the season so far for each school.


CFCA (3-1) was one of those schools that saw a game against Seven Rivers canceled early. 

That cancellation followed a season-opening loss to Zephyrhills Christian Academy, but since then, the Eagles have dominated during their current three-game win streak. In those contests, the Eagles outscored their opponents 161-13.

There have been plenty of highlight players for CFCA, but it’s hard to ignore senior Wilkerson St. Juste, who has rushed for 442 yards and eight touchdowns — five of which came against First Academy-Leesburg.


Head coach Rodney Wells’ Panthers (3-1) have been constantly solid for most of the season.

Outside of a narrow 14-7 loss to the powerhouse Apopka Blue Darters, the Panthers have looked good on both sides of the ball. Key guys such as senior wide receiver Ledger Hatch and junior Jaydan Taylor lead the offense to complement the Panthers’ loaded defense.

Dr. Phillips’ front-loaded schedule means it has most of the regular season’s biggest challenges out of the way. However, the Panthers still have to take on a surprisingly strong Olympia (3-0), as well as Bishop Moore.


Of all Observer-area schools, no team has been more dominant that Foundation Academy (5-0).

A big part of that comes from an explosive offense led by guys such as Oklahoma commit Danny Stutsman, Tate Ewing and Bryan Thomas, and a lights-out, smothering defense. Stutsman alone has accounted for a total of 11 touchdowns, 425 receiving yards and 264 rushing yards, while on defense, he leads the team in tackles.


Outside of last week’s loss at the hands of CFCA, Legacy (4-1) has been dominant in its division.

In their four wins this season the Eagles have averaged just over 35 points per game, and a big reason for that is the backfield tandem of Jayden Colon and Jaden Oyola. So far this season, Oyola has racked up 557 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground, while Colon has gone for 345 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.


If there is one team that has come out of the gates with its hair on fire, it’s the Ocoee Knights (2-1).

After losing their opening game to Apopka 15-13, the Knights have continued a streak of increasingly improved play, and it’s easy to tell that the guys under head coach Aaron Sheppard’s watch are having fun.

Dylan Wade, while still young and learning, has flashed his skill, and Charles Pierre Jr. is proving to be the workhorse powering the program’s run game. Throw in a defense led by Chryse Gunn, Camare Randolph and Malik Harp, and Ocoee has something cooking with four games left in the regular season.


When Olympia beat Gateway to open the season — which was preceded by a two-week delay start to the year due to COVID-19 — the Titans (3-0) handed head coach Travis Gabriel the first season-opening win since he took over the program.

Now, the Titans are sitting at a surprising 3-0 on the season — which includes coming back from 25-7 down to beat University 42-25 last week. A big part of is the leadership of junior quarterback CJ Brooks Jr. (eight total touchdowns) and running back Rommarrus Hinson (four rushing touchdowns). 


As a member of the newly formed Citrus League, TFA — like Windermere Prep — is now into its third week of football. So far, things have looked good for the Royals (2-0).

Through their first two games, the Royals have outscored their opponents 98-28 behind an offense that likes to share the ball. Right now, the Royals have four players — Sean Johnson Jr., Terrence Mosley II, Christian Mercado and Camp Magee — with at least two touchdowns or more.


West Orange has recovered nicely since its season opening 31-24 loss to a strong Boone team.

Under first-year head coach Mike Granato, the Warriors (2-1) have reeled off back-to-back wins over Lake Mary and rival Windermere thanks to a defense with a nose for the ball — especially in the secondary — and a balanced offense that utilizes players such as quarterback Tyler Huff and running backs Joanes Polynice Jr. and Terrell Walden II.

The Warriors now have big games against Apopka, Ocoee and Jones left on the schedule.


Life has been tough for the Windermere program since its inaugural season in 2017.

Now in 2020, Windermere (0-3) has struggled on both sides of the ball. So far, the Wolverines have been outscored 173-7 — but the good news is there are possible wins to be had against lesser opponents in Oak Ridge and Freedom.


Windermere Prep’s opening game with TFA was a shootout for most of the first quarter before lack of depth and weary legs handed the Lakers a loss in Citrus League play.

But the Lakers righted the ship against Trinity Prep in a 64-21 win, largely thanks to the incredible play of quarterback Zane Fullmer and utility man Jackson Bennett. So far this season, Fullmer has eight total touchdowns, while Bennett has racked up seven total touchdowns. Bennett also is top three in tackles for the Lakers.



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