Upgraded offense looks to pass Oviedo

Quarterback Anthony Benzija throws to defensive end Colin Schaefer in the third quarter of the East River game. Hagerty took home the win, 20-14. (photo by Shannon Hahn)

After four games last season, the varsity football team was 2-2 with 44 points scored. After four games this season, the record may be the same but the team looks a lot different.

Last season Winter Park held the lead with a game of 44-3, in a game that was never close. Last Friday, the team held the lead for most of the game. 

Wide receiver Caleb Barber led the Huskies in the first quarter with a touchdown only two minutes into the game. Running back Antwone Felix and Scarelli also gave the team a lead in the first half. In the end Winter Park won with a score of 41-28.

“Right now, our skill work and our skill players are our biggest strength. We have some skilled players that have come from the basketball team. That has helped a lot,”  varsity football coach Steve Mikles said. 

Right out of preseason, the football team traveled to their first game at East River on Aug. 20. The varsity team left with a 20-14 win against them. Running back Jeremiah Williams assisted the team with the win with two touchdowns. 

“I think our team is really prepared. We’ve been practicing hard all year so we should be able to play really well this season,” senior Ryan Farwig said. 

With seven games to go, the varsity team is projected to surpass their 2020-2021 total offensive passing yards. So far, quarterback Anthony Benzija has more than half, 782 yards, of last season’s total passing yards.

Lake Brantley so far has been our toughest opponent. Timber Creek still looms on our schedule as our biggest competitors,” varsity coach Richard Quinones said. “Although any team we play will be bringing the best they got which is always a challenge.”

The second game of the season was an away game against Lake Brantley. Despite the team’s efforts, Lake Brantley came out with the win, 34-27. Barber led the team with three receiving touchdowns.

“I believe our players are willing to sacrifice for each other and support each other through all aspects of the team.  I believe that is why we will have a successful season,” Quinones said. 

The varsity football team then played their first home game against Winter Springs on Sept.10. Barber opened the quarter with a 78 yard touchdown within 4 minutes of kickoff. Running back John Scarelli ended the first half with a touchdown bringing the score to 14-0, Hagerty. Williams ran a 52 yard touchdown leading the varsity team to a big advantage in the first three quarters. Benzija ended the game with a total of 156 passing yards. The team came away with a score of 28-6, Hagerty.

“We have done a lot in practice, we have been more up tempo, we’re throwing the ball more. And I always have new things that you haven’t really seen,” Benzija said.

Due to increased communication and passing the ball more frequently, the football team walked away from Lake Tohopekaliga with a winning score of 44-0.

The students and team are waiting for the rival game against Oviedo on Oct. 7. For the players, this is the game that makes or breaks the season.

Celebration central
Wide receiver Caleb Barber is ranked second in the state for total receiving yards as of this month. photo by James Hillston
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