Football makes history in season opener


The team runs on the field to play against Lake Brantley. The team won 22-12.

After a 35-28 loss against Lake Mary in the preseason classic, football was looking for a win to begin the new season against conference opponent Lake Brantley on Friday, Aug. 25. The team was able to leave victorious, winning 22-12.

The game started out with both teams making mistakes; Lake Brantley forced an interception on the first drive of the night, only to fumble the ball. On the team’s next drive, Lake Brantley was able to force a fumble, sealing the third turnover of the first quarter.

With 4:10 remaining in the half senior running back Oliver Hart scored the first touchdown of the game. Hart finished with 12 carries for 164 yards.

“I think we were just more conditioned than them,” Hart said. “We needed to make a statement for the rest of the season and we did just that.”

After the touchdown, Lake Brantley broke away for an 85 yard run, only to fumble inside the five yard-line. That marked the end of the first half with the team leading 7-0.

“This is the time I find out what we are good at and what we are bad at,” head coach Phil Ziglar said. “We are improving and that’s all I want to see.”

Beginning the second half, Lake Brantley scored a touchdown but missed the extra point, making the score 7-6. That was when junior running back Jordan Gilbert broke away for a 54 yard touchdown to extend the lead to 13-6.

“When I see my team making a great block, I am able to make a big run,” Gilbert said. “Afterwards I get to celebrate with them and thank them for everything they do.”

The team recovered two more fumbles by the end of the third quarter, raising the fumble recovery count to four.

To begin the fourth quarter, kicker Landon Spangenberg drilled a 32 yard field goal to increase the lead to 16-6. Lake Brantley was able to score on their next drive, making the score 16-12 with 9:30 left in the game.

“[In] a win/loss situation, we have personnel, but we don’t have any stars,” Ziglar said. “Our offensive line blocked really well and we worked as a team.”

The team needed a big play, so they turned to Gilbert, who broke through the offensive line for a 65 yard touchdown to put the team on top 22-12.

The defense went on to get another stop and the game was over from there.

This victory was a  confidence boost for the team, as they looked to make another playoff run. The next game is Friday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. at Winter Springs.

“Our teamwork is how we do so well on the field,” Gilbert said. “Our success comes from everyone doing their part.”