An explosive start for Apopka handed the Knights their first loss of the season.
If there was one word to describe Ocoee’s 41-12 defeat at the hands of Apopka Friday, Sept. 13, it’s “blitzkrieg.”
After five minutes of play had passed, the Knights (3-1) were already down 20-0, as a stunned crowd watched on.
It was such a crazy start, that Ocoee head coach Aaron Sheppard couldn’t even comprehend what exactly had happened.
“It was fast moving — the pace caught us I guess, I don't even know,” Sheppard said. “I cant even really tell you — I have to go review film, (because) it happened so fast.”
Apopka (2-0) returned the opening kickoff all the way to the other side of the field — setting the Blue Darters up inside the Ocoee 20-yard line. Two plays later and the Blue Darters would go up on a 12-yard run by Anthony Joseph.
While the Blue Darters would have the big opening possession, the Knights wouldn't have such luck as they’d go three-and-out. From there the Blue Darters would continue to dominate the start of the game — scoring on 52- and 65-yard runs in the first four minutes and 37 seconds.
The second quarter would see even more explosive play from Apopka, as the Blue Darters’ defense forced a fumble of Knights quarterback Nick Wright, which was picked up by defensive end Kaven Call and returned 55 yards for the touchdown. The extra point made it 27-0.
The Blue Darters wouldn't stop there, as the away team would once again score on a long play — this time a 46-yard pass — to make it 34-0 after the extra point.
Going into the game Sheppard and his coaches knew what to expect from the Blue Darters’ old school single-wing offense, but coming off of Monday’s game against Lake Nona, there wasn’t enough time to get ready.
“It’s tough to prepare for that offense in two days,” Sheppard said. “On top of that we are a little beat up now — we have some injuries. We have two players out on defense.”
The Knights would finally get something positive toward the end of the first half, as Lovie Jenkins snagged a pick in the end zone and returned it 102 yards for an emphatic pick-six. The extra point would be no good, leaving the score at 34-6
The scoring would slow down in the second half for Apopka — who by then had started putting in backup players — but the Blue Darters would get their last touchdown of the game on a 28-yard run just three minutes into the half.
For Ocoee, the Knights would eventually go on to get one last score with 9:35 left in the game, as Wright scampered down the right side of the field for the 15-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion would fail, making it 41-12.
It was a tough loss from the previously undefeated Knights, but it’s one they can’t linger on — especially when you consider their next opponent is Wekiva (4-0) on homecoming night Friday, Sept. 20.
“We have some work to do,” Sheppard said. “We just have work to do — I don't even know what to say really.”