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About ExplorerHomer

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  1. Denim Edwards sophomore transfer to Columbus from Westminster
  2. Exchanging TDs first half 21-19 STA 2nd quarter
  3. I have to say - I doubted this team for much of the season. There was a lot of pre-season hype (top 50 ranking) returning key players from the State runner-up finish last year. We were looking forward to the return of one of our top ATH's and team motivators in Courtney Holmes as well after missing him from knee surgery the entire previous season. Over the summer he got shot and it looked as if he wouldn't play a down. Losing Chris Merritt as head coach meant there would be a learning curve for the boys, particularly in the offensive schemes. Our QB Moody had a hard time adjusting to the new collegiate style playbook - even alternating back and forth with the #2 QB a sophomore transfer. Losing over half the O-Line to graduation didn't help the scrambling QB either. Also, a bunch of coaches who had stepped down under Merritt, stepped back in under Dunn (Dunn's former crew from back in the day), and the boys had to adjust to that (new DB coach, new RB coach, etc) and the culture that Dunn wanted instilled. It came down to Coach Dunn benching a bunch of starters including the QB in the first half of the Dillard game. After that, you can sense the team maturing and falling in line with the program's new culture. Dunn also scaled down the playbook from the earlier part of the season as well. Offensive confidence improved greatly after that. The playoff run following that Dillard loss was where the team started coming together - We had beaten Miami High and CG during the regular season, so I wasn't surprised there and these were off-seasons for both of those programs. I had my doubts entering into the Western game, but starting from the first series, I became a believer. The kids played with heart. Holmes in particular has stepped up in his leadership role and was now closer to 100% physically. Parrish and the team had dedicated the season to their classmate Ari Arteaga who had died the year before and now focused their emotion on "Finishing the Job, for Ari" The emotion was real and obvious after the DB win. With a strong alumni backing, 4 years of being the bridesmaid instead of the bride leading up to it, and revenge from 2014 on the mind, the Explorers felt this was their time. They sent a huge contingent of fans up to Daytona with the expectation of a championship. And while I once again doubted - particularly in the third quarter after Quinn's fumble on the kickoff - I knew this team wouldn't quit. There was too much emotion there. They didn't lay down, the coaches made the adjustments to get McSween the ball in the air and allow Moody to scramble. They tried to get Parrish open in the flats and eventually it worked. Stuck Price right in the middle to jam up the box a bit more. And a gutsy call going for 2, especially given what happened last year o the last play of the game. It was almost fate. Hats off to the (mostly new) coaching staff, the new president of the school, the motivator Holmes, and the team that just would not quit. I hope that the Arteaga family find some comfort in this championship season dedicated to their son. It was truly the most exciting finish to a state final I have ever seen, for more than one reason. Congrats on Apopka's incredible season and hard-fought game. I know it hurts. We know it better than most.
  4. 6:34 left. scoreboard clock fixed. Apopka ball at midfield.
  5. Scoreboard out. Game has been delayed. Official time kept on field. Columbus back up after the break. Game is just about over with 8:00 left in Q4
  6. Columbus unable to do anything on the ground. If #2 for the Explorers doesn't hit a homerun early in the 4th, this game is over. Columbus needs Parrish and he has been lock out of the fight all night. #88 for Apopka is phenomenal.
  7. Muffed squib kick by Columbus turns into 7 for Apopka. Two turnovers for the explorers - 1 for the Blue Darters
  8. Looks like two equally matched teams slugging it out so far. Fumble by Apopka (could have gone either way) at the Explorer one made it interesting, but a world record horrible punt by Columbus (2 yd punt) gave it right back to the Darters. Columbus definitely can move the ball against this Apopka defense through the air for shorter gains, they just killing themselves with penalties. And running game has been minimal. Doobie Henderson (4* CCHS receiver) looks a little shaky with that left hip injury, which means more pressure on Parrish offensively - and he hasn't found much success against this stout front line of Apopka. Hopefully just a little stinger because the Explorers will need him down the stretch. Columbus QB Moody has been quite accurate but showing some frustration. Missed PAT by Apopka may come back to haunt them. No way they hold Parrish in check the whole game. Columbus receives second half. Their kicker generally boots it into the endzone every time, negating potential big returns by #1 - that kid is legit. If Columbus can move the ball as they have without some stupid penalties on that opening drive, then their D just needs one good stop to swing morale. They are not playing with that intensity I saw last few games. I imagine Coach Dunn and his staff are making the adjustments and reminding them of what they are capable of. Should be an exciting finish either way! Go Explorers!
  9. True and we scheduled home and home games against Lake Gibson the two years before that.
  10. Equally ironic, that Mandarin accomplished that against us just last year!
  11. Thanks for the play by play SPY - couldn't log in to the forum on my phone. Second game in a row. Anyhow, full capacity on home side (this is effectively a home game for Columbus) so about 3k fans there proably close to half that on Deerfield side - an hour drive for them. Columbus fans tailgating early and the weather was beautiful but a pretty strong breeze most of the game made for some ugly punting and possibly contributed a bit to a missed FG by the Bucs. Columbus looked strong early on both sides of the ball. Some momentum shifted in the 2nd quarter when the Buc's offense got going. Penalties on both sides helped swing momentum. Bucs probably got the worst of it though. One play in particular stood out with a apparent TD called back on what should have been pass interference on the Explorers but ended up being called back on an ineligible receiver call for the Bucs. Overall, some replays from last year - multiple weak penalties (encroachment mostly) committed by Bucs and a couple untimely INT's really took the wind out of their offensive sails. That said, Bucs offense found success with a bubble screen and stayed in the game all second half. But the Columbus D was tough. At least twice Deerfield got inside the 5 and came away with nothing. The last two games it is clear that Columbus is playing some inspired football. I saw it against Western when Courtney Holmes, a real tough kid and inspiration was supercharged from play one. That carried over for the rest of the game. After that game, during prayer on the field it was clear from the talk that these boys believed they could win it all. Today, the first post on Henry Parish's twitter account right after the game was to his late friend and teammate Ari Arteaga - "We finishing the job, Ari!" These boys have a lot to play for and are on a redemption mission now. I was not convinced coming into Western, but I was feeling much more confident going into this game. I privately told one of my coach friends, before the game - the winner here today should take it all. He agreed. I'm hoping I'm right.
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