Wednesday, December 10, 2008
In Depth: Apopka At Seminole
Showdown In-Depth: Apopka @ Seminole
By Todd Grasley
Playoffs are in the air and it doesn't get much bigger than Friday night as Apopka and Seminole battle it out for the right to play in the state semis.
Apopka comes in averaging 41 points in its last two playoff games. In round one they beat Timber Creek on the road 41-21, racking up 495 rushing yards. Round two, saw pretty much of the same. A heavy dose of the run game and Jeremy Gallon. The senior accounted for all six touchdowns as Apopka and East Ridge battled it all night long, with the Blue Darters edging out the Knights 41-34. Coach Darlington has experience in the playoffs, his 2001 team won the state title.
The key to this game will be speed. Apopka will run the single wing offense, an offense that was featured in this week's Sports Illustrated. If Gallon isn't running it, look for either Caleb Nelson, Travelle Davis, or sophomore Tom Smith to carry the rock. Their ability to hold onto the ball could be a key to this game according to Coach Darlington.
Seminole's defense has been a big reason for the Nole's success. In their last two playoff games, they have not given up more than 14 points. In round one they took it to Deland, 35-12 and then beat Spruce Creek 30-13 last week on their home turf.. They will line up in a 4-3 showcasing their size and speed led by defensive end Dyron Dye and linebacker Jarkevis Fields.
Coach Mike Cullison stresses the importance of team and working as one unit, and credits that to the turnaround from last year's 4-5 season. “Coach has us very prepared, we just got done looking at film, and you know we're just go to come out and play hard, that's the motto come out and play hard, senior Andre Debose said. Debose and Ray Ray Armstrong will take turns under center showcasing the spread offense. The “X”factor could be star defensive end Dyron Dye who will play both sides of the ball Friday night. Coach Cullison told me,“ I want my fastest guys on the field.”
The Blue Darters defense led by seniors Pooh Bear Mars and Caleb Nelson will the have test of containing that speed. Coach Darlington isn't underestimating the Nole's offensive weapons, “Seminole's fast and athletic, and obviously a well coached team. We're just going to have to go out there and play sound defense and try to tackle those guys. They are real good and fast.” Speaking of speed, like Seminole, Apopka will have their fastest guys on the field. Look for Jeremy Gallon to patrol the secondary Friday night.
The winner of Friday's contest will have home field advantage against either Boone or Royal Palm Beach next week in the state semi's.
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Apopka and Seminole battle it out in the regional final and our Showdown of the Week brought to you by 800-411-PAIN.
For The Blue Darters they are hoping to go the distance, something they haven't done since 2001.
Last week they upended East Ridge 41-34 in a rematch of the 6A-4 title game.
Jeremy Gallon, who scored six touchdowns in that game, will once again be a factor Friday night.
Look for the Blue Darters to utilize his speed and athleticism on defense as well.
Over at Seminole the coaching staff has their hard hats on because they know its time to work.
Last week, the Noles beat Spruce Creek on the road 30-13, and are led on offense by two of the nation's top recruits, Ray Ray Armstrong and Andre Debose.
Coach Cullison credits the turnaround from last years 4-5 season to everyone playing together as a team.
The winner of Friday's contest will face either Boone or Royal Palm Beach next week in the state semi's.
From Seminole High School, Todd Grasley, High School Playbook.com.
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