In a home-away-from-home game at Olympia High, the Warriors outscored the Wolves 21-6 in the second half to earn a 35-19 victory.
The second half started about as poorly as it could have Monday night for the West Orange Warriors.
Hosting Timber Creek at Olympia High due to their own field still being unplayable, the Warriors had taken a 14-13 lead just before the half on a pass from Elijah Stimmell to Darrell Harding.
The opening moments of the third quarter saw West Orange give up a quick touchdown and then turn the ball over on a fumble, though.
Trailing 19-14, head coach Bob Head’s team counter-punched, going on a 21-0 swing to end the rest of the way to secure an important 35-19 victory.
“It’s a big deal for us — with a young team like this, it’s big,” Head said. “We’ve had nothing but adversity all year long. A little kick in the teeth usually gets us started.”
The night was defined by another big performance by sophomore running back Nemea Hall. Hall accounted for three of the five touchdowns for the Warriors (3-4), rushing for two and running for another.
“I thought Nemea Hall played outstanding and our offensive line just kept working,” Head said.
Also getting in on the scoring action was Stimmell, the team’s backup quarterback.
Stimmell relieved sophomore Brenden Cyr after the West Orange offense came out flat in the first quarter. Stimmell first tossed the touchdown pass to Harding just before the half, before tossing two more touchdown passes in the second half — one to Hall and one to Keyshawn Goins.
The victory ends a two-game skid for the Warriors, whose four losses have only come to playoff teams from 2016.
The win is all the more important as it stood out as the most winnable of a daunting three-game stretch for West Orange over eight days — the Warriors lost to Jones (6-1) 21-10 Oct. 6 at Camping World Stadium and will travel to district rival Apopka (6-1) on Friday. Monday's game had originally been scheduled for Sept. 15 but was rescheduled in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Now the Warriors, who had just two days of rest between the Tigers and the Wolves (2-4), will have just three days of rest before taking on their biggest rival.
“It’s a whole lot of fun, but it’s hard,” Hall said. “Playing on a Monday and coming right back and playing on a Friday — but hey, we gotta play.”