The Apopka Blue Darters take to the road Friday night to face a familiar playoff foe in the Bartram Trail Bears. It was in 2019 that Apopka defeated the Bears 34-13 on the road to advance in the postseason.
In 2021, there are similarities between the two perennial powers and a few differences.
Both Apopka and the Bartram Trail come into this game with 9-2 records. The Blue Darters stormed into the postseason with four straight wins and are currently on a 206-9 tear against its last five opponents. Bartram Trail won seven of its last eight games.
The Bears are 5-2 at home this season, while Apopka is 4-1 on the road.
Apopka and Bartram Trail have two common opponents this season - the Lake Brantley Patriots, and the Creekside Knights. During the regular season, the Blue Darters defeated Lake Brantley 42-0, while Bartram Trail routed the Patriots 41-3 in the playoffs. In the Creekside game, Bartram Trail needed a fourth-quarter field goal to edge the Knights 16-13, while Apopka took Creekside apart last week 42-0 in the playoffs.
Both offenses score similar points with Apopka averaging 30.7 points per game and Bartram Trail scoring 28.36. On defense, however, the Blue Darters are allowing opponents only 5.9 points per game - less than a touchdown, while the Bears are allowing 19.18.
The Blue Darters took the first step last week in capturing their fourth state championship with a 42-0 shutout of St. John's Creekside at Roger Williams Field Friday night in the 8A-Region 1 quarterfinals. It was the fifth victory in a row for Apopka, the third shutout in that timespan, and the fifth of the season.
The winner of the Apopka-Bartram Trail contest will face the winner of the Sanford Seminole-Lake Mary game. The Seminoles are 10-1 on the season and are the #1 seed in 8A-Region 1. They beat Winter Park 41-27 last Friday night.
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