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Seminole Flies to the Next Round

Player #35 & #11 celebrating last nights win.
Player #35 & #11 celebrating last night’s win.

As the 2023 FHSAA Football Championship advances to its second round, the spotlight is on the intense matchup between Seminole and Apopka.

These two teams, known for their fierce rivalry over the past couple of years, are set to clash once again. Seminole secured a victory over Apopka in the regular season, creating a backdrop of tension and anticipation as Apopka seeks revenge in this crucial playoff encounter. The stakes are high, with the winner earning the right to face Mandarin in the next round, enjoying the advantage of playing on their home turf.


The excitement kicked off as Seminole’s defense forced a punt on Apopka’s first drive, gaining possession on their 23-yard line. Senior QB Karson Siqueiros-Lasky wasted no time, connecting with senior WR Marvin Brown for an impressive 66-yard completion down the seam, setting the stage for a red zone opportunity.

The first touchdown of the game came when Siqueiros-Lasky found senior WR Michael Key in the flat. Key showcased his agility, evading two defenders for a 15-yard touchdown reception. A successful two-point conversion put Seminole ahead at 8-0 with 8:07 remaining in the first quarter. Apopka attempted to respond, advancing into Seminole territory, but a fumble caused by a mishandled handoff saw the defense recover, shifting possession back to Seminole on their 37-yard line. Apopka’s attempt at a fake punt on 4th-and-short failed, providing Seminole with excellent field position at the Apopka 38-yard line. Siqueiros-Lasky capitalized on the opportunity, throwing a screen pass to WR Michael Key, who secured his second touchdown of the game from five yards out. The PAT successfully extended Seminole’s lead to 15-0 with one second remaining in the first quarter.

Apopka had a chance to bounce back when Siqueiros-Lasky’s deep shot to the end zone was intercepted by Apopka senior DB Malachi Davey. However, Apopka couldn’t capitalize on the turnover, going three-and-out and punting the ball back to Seminole. 


The second quarter saw Seminole’s offense continue its dominance. Junior RB Rodney Grant broke free from a tackle, rushing 23 yards for another touchdown. The PAT was good, putting Seminole ahead 22-0 with 3:19 left in the second quarter. As halftime approached, Seminole wasn’t finished. Siqueiros-Lasky orchestrated a read option, sprinting into the end zone untouched for a 6-yard rushing touchdown. The successful PAT increased Seminole’s lead to 29-0 with 8:29 remaining in the third quarter. Apopka finally found the end zone in the third quarter when sophomore QB Tyson Davison executed a quarterback draw on 4th-and-goal from three yards out. The successful PAT put Apopka on the board at 29-7 with 3:04 remaining in the third quarter. 


The fourth quarter saw Seminole continuing their offensive prowess. Senior RB Treyvin Clark sprinted for a remarkable 60-yard touchdown, leaving Apopka’s defense trailing. The successful PAT extended Seminole’s lead to 36-7 with 10:55 remaining in the game. Seminole’s defense showcased its strength again as junior CB Juan Berchal intercepted a pass from Apopka’s Davison, returning it to the Apopka 28-yard line. Capitalizing on the turnover, sophomore RB De’Shawn Watkins dove into the end zone from three yards out for another touchdown. Although the PAT was unsuccessful, Seminole held a commanding 42-7 lead with 6:15 remaining. Apopka managed to score once more in the closing minutes of the game when senior RB Reggie McBride broke into the second level, running into the end zone for a 37-yard touchdown. The PAT was successful, but Seminole’s lead proved insurmountable, with the final score at 42-14. 


Seminole will move on to the third round of the playoffs as Apopka goes back home and practices for next year. “It’s a blessing,” Karl Calhoun Jr. said. “That was one of our goals. We wanted to win the district, and now we want to win the region. And to play here at Thomas E. Whigham is special, and it’ll be a good time out here, very special and very proud of this group.” This is his first year as a head coach for Seminole and he is dominating opponents left and right. Tonight, our boys showcased an impressive performance, and I couldn’t be prouder. Now, we’re left with just three more games,” expresses Karson Siqueiros-Lasky. Let’s hope Seminole beats Mandarin to move on!


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