Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Senators Have No Reply for Apopka; Jamari Smith Is Held to 52 Yards on 14 Carries

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Senators Have No Reply for Apopka; Jamari Smith Is Held to 52 Yards on 14 Carries

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff Elliott

Speed kills, and in this case, it killed Fletcher's hopes for a state semifinal rematch with Dr. Phillips.

Fletcher couldn't match the speed of Apopka running back Jevric Blocker, nor could it contain the quickness of the Blue Darters' defensive line, as the team from north of Orlando overwhelmed the host Senators 52-19 in Region 1-8A Friday night at Jack Taylor Stadium.

Not only did Blocker and several other running backs dodge through the Senators defense, but Apopka quarterback Zach Darlington came through with his most productive passing game of the season. The junior QB, son of head coach Rick Darlington, had four touchdown passes and scored a fifth TD on a 10-yard run with 34 seconds left in the game.

"We throw the ball well, we just don't throw it a lot, until tonight," Apopka coach Rick Darlington said. "We're a running team, but that sets up our play action. Tonight, Zach delivered the ball when and where he needed to."

The loss deprived Fletcher of another shot at Dr. Phillips, which took out the Senators in last year's state semifinals. Had Fletcher won this game, it would have hosted the Orlando school in a semifinal game next Friday.

Instead, it will be Apopka which will host the game and get its own chance for revenge. Dr. Phillips beat Apopka in the Darters' first game this season.

Blocker had 114 yards in 15 carries and a touchdown and added another 98 yards on four pass receptions, good for two more scores.

His biggest run came early in the second quarter when he faked taking a handoff from Darlington on a sweep around end and found himself all alone 10 yards downfield when Darlington hit him in stride. He outraced the Senators secondary to the end zone for the first of three second-quarter scores by the visitors.

"Their speed, their lateral speed sideline to sideline was so tough for us to contain," Fletcher coach Josh Corey said. …

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