Well, an improbable season ended in disappointment last night, as Apopka was done in by: 1. Friday 13 (not really); 2. An average kicking game; 3. A gutsy decision by Columbus to go for two instead of taking the PAT and overtime.
While it hurts to lose a game when your opponent's only lead comes with 8.2 seconds left on the clock, putting things into perspective, Apopka had a great season. After losing its best offensive weapon (Davis-Hamilton) early in the 2018 season, the Darter's looked forward to his return for his senior season. But it was not to be as he aggravated his injury in a non-football related accident in the spring (it is really a pity as this kid had a fine college career and perhaps pro, ahead of him). Going into the spring game, the offense was really bad without him, and in four quarters of football the team managed only 2 points on a safety.
With the above as the backdrop, I was not expecting much from Apopka this year. And, for the first seven games of the regular season, despite the defense playing stellar football, it seemed likely that Apopka was headed for a first or second round exit in the playoffs as more injuries to offensive players (both skill and linemen) plagued the team. Well, in the second to last game of the regular season against Lake Mary for the district title, a turnaround could be sensed as Apopka won what was expected to be a tight game easily.
The turnaround was due to two main factors: 1. Some of the injured players returning to health and the team; 2. Some shifts by the coaching staff moving guys from defense to offensive and finding some diamonds in the rough on the bench.
In the end it was not enough for a fourth state title. Still, in perspective, it was a good season for the Darters.
Congrats to Columbus on pulling out the win. The two teams were fairly evenly matched, but very different in their strengths and weakness. I feel there will be other Columbus/Apopka finals in the future and I look forward to the chance for redemption.
1A: 4,2292A: 9633A: 2,8324A: 1,9105A:6A: 22337A:8A: 6631Total: 18,798 (as of 12/13)
To get to 25,000, they need to get to 3,101 per game.
To get to 30,000, they need to get to 5,601 per game.
If Jones and Northwestern bring the type of crowds, that we expect. I could see breaking the 30K mark.