OHS one win from district title
By Rick Pedone
To the surprise of no one familiar with 7A District 6 football, Osceola can clinch the district championship Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Kowboys field when it hosts Gateway for homecoming.
Osceola, 6-2 and 4-0 in the district after a 55-0 win over Celebration last week, is the only team in 7A-6 without a district loss.
Gateway, 3-4 and 2-2, has a mathematical chance to reach the playoffs, but that would require a highly unlikely scenario beginning with winless Celebration (0-8) upsetting Lake Nona in their game today.
“It doesn’t matter what our chances are, we just have to go out there and do what we can,” Panthers Coach Marlin Roberts said.
The Panthers were idle last week after a 17-10 win over Liberty Oct. 11 kept them in the playoff hunt.
Osceola jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter against Celebration last week and extended that to 35-0 at the half. Osceola scored three more times during a running clock in the second half.
Eight Kowboys scored TDs, three on defensive returns: Demetrius Young and Juaquan Jenkins on fumble returns, and Mikeice Adams with an interception run back.
“At one point, the defense was outscoring the offense,” Kowboys Coach Doug Nichols said.
Akiel Hamilton, Nazayah Brown, Edtwain Black, Laderrien Wilson and Hunter McGehee scored for the OHS offense, which totaled 287 yards on just 29 plays because of the running clock.
“The best thing about that was just being back in the house,” Nichols said.
The Kowboys went from Sept. 6 until last week – five games – between home dates at Kowboys field.
“It was just nice being able to get back into a routine. The kids handled (the road games) well. We never mentioned it at all until last week because we didn’t want to make excuses, but it was nice being back home,” Nichols said.
It has been 25 years since Gateway beat OHS, not counting an OHS forfeit in 1995.
“They are who they are,” Roberts said. “Every year, they are right there and every year you know they can win the district. We’ve got some people healed up, and we have that core group that you can always count on, people like Isaiah (Wharton) and John Paul (Sanchez). We’ll just keep doing what we always do, and hopefully it will be a good night for us.”
Nichols said Gateway easily could be undefeated in the district, just like his Kowboys.
“You look at their losses, and it came down to one or two plays. They easily could have beaten Lake Nona and Harmony,” Nichols said. “Their defense has been playing really well. They have a lot of talent back there.”
Gateway gave OHS one of its most difficult games during the regular season last year. OHS won, 21-0.
Osceola wraps up the regular season next week against rival St. Cloud.
The Kowboys have an open date Nov. 8 before the regional playoffs begin Nov. 15.
The school’s “Field of Screams” Halloween display is from 9 until 11:30 p.m. at the baseball complex starting Friday. Admission is $5 for adults; $3 for students with IDs and children ages 10-under.