Eau Gallie spoils Okeechobee’s homecoming game

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee Brahmans varsity football team attempted to cap off the high school’s homecoming week with a win against the Eau Gallie Commodores on Oct. 19, but came up short due to self-inflicted mistakes and missed opportunities.
The Brahmans lost 27-0 and fell to 0-8 on the year.

Cristian Suarez (left) and Alani Garcia (right) were named the 2018-19 homecoming king and queen at the homecoming game on Oct. 19. Photo by Richard Marion.

Things looked promising at times that Okeechobee might be able to pull off the upset against the Commodores. Eau Gallie opened up the game running a traditional offense with a quarterback who would drop back and attempt to pass the ball down field. But the Okeechobee defensive line was having none of it.

Time and time again, the Eau Gallie quarterback would drop back and search for an open receiver only to find a Brahman defensive linemen in his face. Okeechobee harassed the Commodore quarterback early and often in the first half, causing multiple overthrown balls, much to the frustration of the Eau Gallie coaching staff.

Eventually, Eau Gallie head coach Chris Sands turned to his players and shouted that they were going to run what he called the “Tarzan package.” That Tarzan package turned out to be a wildcat formation where the ball is snapped directly to a running back.

On the first play from wildcat, the Okeechobee defense sniffed out the play, and the running back actually lost 9 yards.

Still, Eau Gallie stuck with the wildcat for the majority of the second half. In fact, Eau Gallie only attempted three passes in the second half of the game. One of those pass attempts saw senior Brahman defensive end Brian Sell make a big play in the backfield and sack the quarterback.

Offensively, Okeechobee showed flashes of what their potential could be. Senior wide receiver Jalen Pryor ran by an Eau Gallie defender and would have had a walk-in touchdown but the ball was just slightly overthrown. It seemed as though the Eau Gallie coaching staff quickly got the message about how fast Pryor can be, as they had their cornerbacks play deep in coverage for the rest of the game against him.

But the fundamentals continue to hold the Brahmans back. Botched snaps, holding calls and false starts are killing Okeechobee offensive drives before they ever really have a chance to start. It’s already difficult to convert a third down and 10, but it’s nearly impossible to convert a third down and 26 because of a botched snap that sailed over the quarterback’s head.

So the Brahmans are still searching for their first win of the regular season, as well as their first offensive touchdown since Aug. 31 against Lake Wales.

They’ll get a chance to get that win and that offensive touchdown when they travel to face the 4-4 Jensen Beach Falcons on Oct. 26.


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