A Year in Review: 2021 Apopka Football

From the lights going out during halftime to famous Youtubers coming to the games, the 2021 Apopka football season has been one for the books. Our boys in blue currently hold a 12-2 record with one game left, probably the most important game these boys will ever play, the 8A State Championship. In order to get where they are today, the boys had to go through some easy and some tough teams.

To start out the season, the team went on a three game winning streak which included wins over Colonial(47-0), West Orange(13-0), and Dr. Phillips(28-14). Over the course of these 3 games, the team rushed for almost 600 yards and passed for almost 200. Apopka’s strong defense gave up only 14 points over this span of games giving the offense all the freedom to call plays as need be. The Blue Darters rushing attack is lead primarily by junior running back Keyondray Jones, who has totaled a little over 1200 total yards and 20 touchdowns this season. The passing attack is headed by senior quarterback Andrew McClain, who transferred here this year from Seminole High School. He has a little over 700 yards passing and 8 touchdowns.

The next slate of games was a tough one as they lost two out of their next three. Luckily, these were the only two losses of the season. The first of the three was a low-scoring affair against Edgewater High School that had a final score of 17-6. Apopka’s offense was held to a little over 100 yards of total offense in this gritty contest. They were able to bounce back and capture a 20-6 victory over the Trojans of Evans High School. The next game was a very controversial one against Lakeland High School that finished 20-17 in favor of the dreadnaughts. A couple of tough calls made the difference in this one.

After two tough losses, the boys flipped a switch and went on a complete offensive rampage for the rest of the season, scoring 30+ points in each of their last four regular season games. But this wasn’t the only positive from this slate of games, as the defense only gave up nine total points to their opponents. Apopka collected wins over West Port(44-0), Cake Brantley(41-3), Ocoee (42-0), and Wack-iva (37-6). During these last four games, Apopka passed for 250 yards and rushed for 829. They finished with an 8-2 record heading into the playoffs and a whole lot of confidence.

Pictured: Jones(7) celebrating one of his many touchdowns with teammate Antonio Ferguson(6)

Apopka has played four playoff games so far and has won all four. These wins came against Creekside(42-0), Bartram Trail(34-3), Seminole(28-27), and Treasure Coast(21-0). This is the second time in 3 years that Apopka has made it to the state championship and the 3rd year in a row that we have made it to at least the final four. Apopka looks to get the job done and take home the state title after falling short two years ago. They will take on the Venice High School Indians in what looks to be an offensive shootout on Saturday December 18th at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The Blue and White¬†spoke with a couple of the players to learn about their thoughts on the season and what they expect for the next game. We were able to get in contact with 4-star cornerback and UCF signee Nikai Martinez along with 3-star linebacker and Coastal Carolina signee Josiah Robinson. Here’s what they had to say:

Pictured: Martinez(21) and Robinson(3)

How do you feel about the upcoming game?

Nikai: I feel really good, think we have a good game plan and everyone is locked in.

Josiah: I am excited and feel we are well prepared.

What’s your favorite memory from the season?

Nikai: I don’t think I have one because there’s a lot but just being with my brothers and coming back stronger from my injury.

Josiah: My favorite memory would be winning against Seminole in over time by one point.

When asked about what they believed has lead to the team’s success this season, they both talked about the team’s mentality as a whole and being together as one using the hate from the outside as fuel. One thing Nikai highlighted was how Coach Parker being sick for a while and the passing of Ms. Frazier has formed the mentality that they have to make it happen no matter what, and they won’t leave Ft. Lauderdale without a ring.

No matter what the outcome of Saturday’s game, the 2021 Apopka football season will be one that consists of many positive memories for players and fans and one that will be looked back on forever.