Apopka 22 – Dr. Phillips 20; Listen to the Week 4 Broadcast

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from the Orlando Sentinel

Dr. Phillips could only watch as mobs of Apopka fans rushed its field, throwing their arms in the air and surrounding their team..

How much of a victory it was could be seen in the smiles of every player and coach, and in the wide eyes of spectators as they recounted the game to each other.

The Blue Darters (4-0), No. 2 in the Sentinel’s Super 16, fought back from a 20-6 halftime deficit, blocking a field goal and getting an interception in the final minutes to win 22-20 on the road against No. 5 Dr. Phillips (2-2).

“Never out of fight! Never out of fight! Never out of fight!” Apopka coach Rick Darlington shouted after the game as his team echoed.

“To be down 20-6 at half, to that team,” Darlington said. “That’s a good team. Five (Emare Hogan) and two (Jaquarius Bargnare) are as good as I’ve ever seen, and they’re rock solid on defense.

“It wasn’t a 49-42 game, it was a darn battle.”

Apopka evened the score in the third quarter, with 10- and 1-yard touchdown runs by Odunayo Seriki and Deshawn Massey, respectively.

A long Apopka punt put Dr. Phillips on its 13-yard line to start the next drive. The first snap soared through quarterback Marvin Washington’s hands and he scrambled to recover it in the end zone for a safety that handed Apopka a 22-20 lead with about 9 minutes left in the game.

Apopka linebacker Laquan Hicks blocked a field goal attempt with 2:22 on the clock.

If there were nail biters in the stands, they would have started chewing when Apopka gave the ball back to Dr. Phillips – which had won 35 regular-season games until last week’s loss to West Orange – on the 45-yard line with 42 seconds on the clock.

Senior defensive back Jarrell Tinsley handed those worried fans relief when he intercepted a Washington pass with 27 seconds left to seal the win.

“It was crazy,” Hicks said. “We were down. We knew we could do it. It was a little scary but at the end we knew we got it.

“That felt like a state championship right there. It means we’re ready. It’s time to think we’re ready for everything.”

Apopka, renowned for its single-wing offense, also ran a spread throughout the night. Quarterback Demetri Burch completed 4-of-11 passes for 45 yards. He, Seriki and Deshawn Massey combined for 203 rushing yards on 44 carries and each rushed for a touchdown.

Washington ended the night 6-of-13 passing for 115 yards and a touchdown. He also split snaps with Emare Hogan, who rushed for 88 yards and a score on nine carries.

Bargnare gave Dr. Phillips its early lead, first with a 56-yard punt return midway through the second quarter, and then with a 23-yard touchdown reception from Washington that made it 20-6 at halftime.


Apopka 22, Dr. Phillips 20

FIRST — A: Massey 1 run (kick failed). SECOND — DP: Hogan 36 run (kick fail); DP: Bargnare 56 punt return (Stockwell kick); DP: Bargnare 23 pass from Washington (Stockwell kick). THIRD — A: Seriki 10 run (Minniear kick); A: Burch 1 run (Minniear kick). FOURTH — A: safety, bad snap recovered in end zone.

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