Osceola wins, 36-27, but lacks top form
By Ken Jackson
Osceola won its Kickoff Classic Friday, taking down Oviedo 36-27, but Coach Doug Nichols said the form on display wasn’t what took the Kowboys to the Class 7A state semifinals the last two years.
Three critical turnovers and costly penalties, three coming on fourth downs that kept Lions’ drives alive, bogged down the Kowboys, who trailed 20-14 at the half. But OHS got enough on defense to outscore the Lions in a game that was delayed by 30 minutes thanks to a brief deluge with lots of lightning that kept the teams from coming out for warmups on time.
“”We played a little slow defensively in the first half, and that’s not us. I don’t know if it was getting all excited to finally play another team and then have a rain delay or what,” Nichols said.
He said his Kowboys need to show more discipline if they are to start the regular season right at home against Freedom next week.
“That’s coaching, so this one’s on me, but I told them the next one would be on them and they’d better be prepared to be accountable,” Nichols said.
Ladarrien Wilson led the Kowboys with 115 yards on 10 carries. Of that, 73 came on two runs on Osceola’s second and third offensive plays after cornerback Dominic Lee stopped Oviedo’s opening drive with an interception in the end zone. The junior carried for 33 yards, then 40 on the same midline play to the end zone to put the Kowboys up, 7-0.
The Lions would make it 14-7 on their next two drives while working with a short field after a long kickoff return and a fumble recovery. Mike Carbone hit Malcolm Bryant on a 17-yard touchdown pass in heavy traffic. Osceola’s Tayshon Pinellas answered that with a long kickoff return of his own, and Edtwain Black validated it with a 10-yard TD run early in the second quarter.
Osceola erased its halftime deficit in the third quarter. Junior Isaiah Wilson, making his Kowboys debut at quarterback, hit Nazayah Brown in stride on a 47-yard touchdown pass for his only completion in three attempts, then Marcus Edwards put the Kowboys up 28-20 with a 25-yard run on their next drive. So’More Fagan added a 33-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Lee and Carlos Becker had interceptions for the Kowboys, and T.J. Kelly made Carbone miserable much of the night with a sack and numerous hurries.