Sunday, November 18, 2007

Blue Darters survive scare
Blue Darters survive scare
A huge 2nd-quarter helps Apopka set up a matchup with rival Edgewater next week.
Buddy Collings

Sentinel Staff Writer

November 17, 2007


Host Apopka thrilled its fans with a highlight reel second quarter scoring spree Friday night. But gutsy Timber Creek managed to keep everybody on the edge of their seats until the end.

The Wolves threatened to force overtime in the final minute but failed to complete a flare pass into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the Apopka 4 with 41.4 seconds to go as the Blue Darters held on to win 30-22.

Apopka (10-1) now gets a chance to avenge its only loss when it hosts Metro Conference rival Edgewater (9-2) in a region semifinal next Friday.

"I think we were really fortunate to win," Rick Darlington, Apopka's coach said. "They played better than we did."

The Blue Darters, ranked fourth in the 6A state poll and fifth in the Sentinel Super 6, fell behind 10-0 but then blitzed the Wolves with big plays.

Travelle Davis started the flurry with a 43-yard TD run on a fourth-and-1 play. Jeremy Rouse added a 48-yard breakaway run to close the gap to 16-14.

The game then turned on a Wolves pass that ricocheted off an open receiver and was intercepted by Apopka's alert Caleb Nelson. Two plays later, Jeremy Gallon pitched a play-action strike to Carmeiris Stewart, who ran untouched to the end zone for a 62-yard score and 22-16 lead.

Rouse then made the most astounding Apopka play. He turned a short swing pass into a 69-yard scamper by juking at least three defenders.

Gallon, who has completed 42 of his 64 pass attempts (65.6-percent) for the year, was 7 of 10 Friday for 204 yards. He also rushed for 69 and added a 60-yard kickoff return.

Timber Creek got big numbers from sophomore quarterback Tyler Marincov (8-of-21, 218 yards) and Travis Thomas (4 catches, 137 yards) and production from its tandem of junior Rahfee McClee (16 carries, 133 yards) and senior Kevin Blyden (13-73).

But two dropped passes, penalties, and a potential fumble recovery cost the Wolves what might have been a first playoff win.

Apopka 30, Timber Creek 22
Timber Creek 10 6 0 6 -- 22
Apopka 0 30 0 0 -- 30
FIRST -- T: Keller 27 FG; T: Thomas 56 pass from Marincov (Keller kick). SECOND -- A: Davis 43 run (Beary kick); T: McClee 1 run (kick blocked); A: Rouse 43 run (Beary kick); A: Stewart 62 pass from Gallon (Rouse run); A: Rouse 69 run (Gallon run). FOURTH -- T: McClee 50 run (kick failed).

Buddy Collings can be reached at

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