Apopka 43 – Wekiva 6; Listen to the Week 8 Broadcast

Click Here to listen to the 1520 WBZW archived broadcast of Week 8: Apopka vs. Wekiva

from the Orlando Sentinel

Being a state champion one year and not even making the playoffs the next seems crazy, especially for a team like Apopka, which had just one loss heading into Friday night.

But it was the reality of what the Blue Darters, No. 6 in the Sentinel’s Super 16, were facing against No. 9 district rival Wekiva. A loss would have knocked them out of playoff contention.

That didn’t happen. Thanks to two defensive touchdowns and quarterback Demetri Burch’s three rushing scores, the host Blue Darters (7-1, 1-1 in 8A, District 4) beat the Mustangs (5-2, 1-1) for the ninth year in a row with a 43-6 victory on senior night.

Now, Wekiva will have to beat No. 1 West Orange on Oct. 30 to force a three-way tiebreaker.

“Big win for us, absolutely crucial,” Apopka coach Rick Darlington said. “It was an absolute playoff game for us tonight.

“We’re used to playing in big games, we’re used to pressure. So, I was proud of the way we stepped up, but I’m not surprised.”

The scoring began early and never slowed for the Blue Darters, who took a 14-0 lead six minutes into the game off a 3-yard run by Burch to cap their first drive and a fumble recovery that was returned 30 yards for a touchdown by senior defender Malik Dowe.

Burch went on to score on an 18-yard run in the third quarter and a 40-yard run to close out the scoring with about 10 minutes left in the game. He finished with 156 yards and three scores on 17 carries. Dekwon Wilson added 12 carries for 120 yards and a fourth-quarter score.

Senior Laquan Hicks returned a punt 54 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter to put Apopka up 22-0.

“We couldn’t be pressured, we had to play the best game we played this year,” Burch said. “I just wanted to win. Knowing that if we didn’t win this game our season would be over [in two weeks], that’s what made us play so hard.”

Wekiva’s points came on 39- and 35-yard field goals by Oscar Salazar in the second and third quarters, respectively.

Apopka will travel to Oak Ridge at 7:30 next Friday. Wekiva will host Ocoee at 7 p.m. Thursday.


FIRST — A: Burch 3 run (kick blocked); A: Dowe 30 fumble recovery (Massey run). SECOND — A: Hicks 54 punt return (Burch run); W: Salazar 39 field goal. THIRD — W: Salazar 35 field goal; A: Burch 18 run (Massey run). FOURTH — A: Wilson 42 run (kick blocked); A: Burch 40 run (Minniear kick).

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