After winning kick-off classic, Brahmans prepare for great things

OKEECHOBEE — New Okeechobee football head coach Ty Smith was still completely drenched from the Gatorade shower his players had just given him after they defeated Jupiter 21-20 in the kick-off classic when he credited the team for overcoming early nerves to win the game.

OHS senior Jalen Pryor was directly involved in crucial plays late in the game that gave the Brahmans the 21-20 victory over Jupiter on Aug. 17, 2018. Photo by Richard Marion.

“There were a lot of nerves going around prior to the game,” said Smith. “As we came out for pre-game, I could see some jitters in some of the players. But they came out in the first quarter and did a fantastic job. We had some miscues late in the game, but it was a fantastic finish for us.”

That fantastic finish included the Brahmans breaking the 14-14 tie with Jupiter when OHS senior Jalen Pryor caught a 20-yard touchdown pass to put Okeechobee up 21-14 with just 4 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Okeechobee wasn’t quite out the woods yet, though. Despite commenting numerous penalties all game and turning the ball over at crucial moments, Jupiter was able to put together a drive in the final 4 minutes remaining and march down the field to score a touchdown.

But since the kick-off classic was a preseason game, and wouldn’t reflect on the final record of either team for the 2018 season, Jupiter opted to go for two points and win the game instead of kicking the extra point and forcing overtime.

And as Okeechobee lined up to stop the two-point conversion and win the game, the Brahman defense got some help from the OHS Band.

The OHS Band roared to life as the Jupiter offense lined up, each band member yelling at the top of their lungs. The noise caused the Jupiter offense to false start, pushing them five yards back. It perfectly encapsulated the night for Jupiter, who were able to make some great plays, but ultimately couldn’t get out of their own way.

After a low snap, Jupiter quarterback Tyler West rolled out right and attempted to hit one of his wide receivers in the end zone. But, fittingly, it was Jalen Pryor in perfect coverage on defense who was able to bat the ball away.

“A lot of people think that in the preseason you are just putting in some players and trying out some things,” said Smith. “But I preached to the players all week that this preseason game will set the tone for the entire season. And we believe there are some great things going to happen this season for us.”

The Brahmans open up the first game of the regular season on the road against John Carrol Catholic High School on Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. In fact, Okeechobee will be playing the first three games of the season on the road this year traveling to both Lake Wales and Sebastian after they face John Carrol. The Brahmans won’t be back in Okeechobee until Sept. 21 when they face Port St. Lucie. After that they’ll have another two home games in a row against Heritage and Martin County before finishing the season with an away game at Bayside, home against Eau Gallie, away at Jensen Beach and finally at home against cross-lake rival Clewiston.

The OHS Brahmans varsity football team and cheerleaders sing the alma mater after their victory over Jupiter on Aug. 17. Photo by Richard Marion.

 

The Okeechobee Brahmans line up against Jupiter early in their game on Aug. 17. Photo by Richard Marion.

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