Football rolling into Oviedo game

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photo by Peyton Su

Running back Ethan Lopez barrels through the University defense on a run up the left side. This put the team in the red zone to eventually score. The team won 43-0.

While the football team got off to a slow start, they have regained momentum after outscoring their last three opponents 108-3. The team sits at 4-2, heading into the biggest game of the year for the city of Oviedo, regardless of what school you call home.

The varsity football team dominated their last three matchups against Winter Springs, Colonial and University, taking control of both sides of the ball, with final scores of 23-3, 42-0 and 43-0, respectively, and are looking to maintain the trend against Oviedo on Friday. 

Head Coach Steve Mikles knew that the absence of spring practice would hurt the development of the new offense and coaching staff, and these last three games are the outcome of learning the process.

“The players are getting more comfortable with the schemes that we run on offense and defense,” Mikles said. “We didn’t have spring practice, so we knew it would take time to get the kids understanding what we want.”

Beyond football, this is the biggest game of the year. The tradition, the fans and the student section are just as many rivals as the teams.

With pressure rising as the week progresses, players’ main goal is to treat it like a normal game.

“I would like to say that it is just another game, but I know better,” Mikles said. “I know what it means to both communities.”

Both teams have played mutual opponents this season, like Timber Creek and Winter Park. Both outcomes have been very similar, bringing the expected matchup even tighter. This season Oviedo has had a successful passing attack with a talented quarterback and receivers, and that is one of Mikles main focuses heading into game time.

“We have to keep the ball away from them and burn the clock on offense as much as possible,” Mikles said. “We need to limit how many possessions they get during the game and need to score when we get the ball.”

Players on both sides of the ball have been focusing on little things, and have attributed that to the success of the season.

“All week the coaches push for every little thing to be right in practice and you can see that carry over onto the field,” Wilson said. “This week is no different.”

In the last several seasons, a strong run game has been the focus of the offense. Since then, play action benefits with their newly improved passing attack  complement the run. Running back Ethan Lopez has 559 rushing yards on the season with nine touchdowns, and running back Antwone Felix with 173 yards and one touchdown. 

Lopez only rushed for 684 yards the entire season last year, which shows a massive change in offensive dynamic, and even more so for the passing game. 

In the air, sophomore quarterback Anthony Benzija has opened with 517 yards and three touchdowns with a 53% completion rate. With quick receivers Dylan Lujan and Jeremy Frederick, it allows for the offense to be more versatile.

“Our running backs can turn the jets on and have a chance to score every time they touch the ball,” Frederick said. “We can also pass the ball and take some deep shots down the field.”

Friday’s game will take place at 7:00p.m. at Sam Momary Stadium. For those who did not receive tickets, keep an eye out for a live stream on YouTube.

 

Hagerty Football Stats 2020
Passing Attempts Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Completion Percentage
Anthony Benzija(SO) 82 517 3 1 53.7%
Rushing Carries Yards Touchdowns Avg. Yards/Carry Avg. Yards/Game
Ethan Lopez (SR) 82 559 9 6.8 93.2
Jaimie Foley (SR) 25 160 2 6.4 40.0
Antwone Felix (JR) 44 173 1 3.9 28.8
Receiving  Receptions Yards  Touchdowns Avg. Yards/Rec Avg. Yards/Game
Dylan Lujan (SR) 20 219 1 11.0 36.5
Cole Schilling (SR) 8 125 2 15.6 20.8
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