OHS Brahmans dominate Gators at Glades Day

OKEECHOBEE — Brahman coach Chris Branham took two big gambles that went his way and his team’s way Saturday in a 28-14 victory over Glades Day.

Okeechobee converted fourth down and two from their own 28-yard line in the first quarter that resulted in a 72-yard touchdown run by Bubba Fludd.

Bubba Fludd #5 runs for a long gain during Saturday’s game.

Bubba Fludd #5 runs for a long gain during Saturday’s game.

The Brahmans then converted a fourth and two from their own 18-yard line in the third quarter, with the game still undecided, when Lamar Williams willed his body for a 5-yard gain. The Brahmans went on to drive the ball 90 yards for a clinching touchdown by Logan Etherton.

Coach Branham told his players after the game it was a job well done. He said he couldn’t have been more proud of a football team.

The game was played a day late due to strong thunderstorms and rain that postponed the game on Friday. The teams kicked off Saturday at 1 p.m. amid light rain showers, high humidity, and on-field temperatures that exceeded 90 degrees.

Both coaching staff had to deal with a number of players cramping due to the heat and humidity. In the second half it appeared to affect Glades Day more as a number their players had to leave the field due to leg cramps.

Bubba Fludd rushed 144 yards on 10 carries and scored twice on long runs in the first half. He also threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Zeke Matthews in the fourth quarter.

Williams rushed for 82 yards on 15 carries and even though he lost a helmet on a play, told teammates, “I’m a Brahman get me up.” He said he doesn’t like running backward when he plays football.

“I’m running with a lot more confidence this year and I’m running a lot harder,” Williams said afterward, ”I just love my offensive linemen. It’s the best line I’ve run behind in the 11 years I’ve played football.”

Senior lineman Edrick Neal said the Brahmans made a statement when they drove 90 yards for a score in the second half, “That was the turning point. The players on this team really trust one another. They couldn’t handle us at that point it was just a steamroller.”

Linebacker Juan Martinez Jr, who had several stops and a couple tackles in the backfield, said he felt great about coming back to Okeechobee from Lehigh Acres. He said Brahman football feels like a family experience. “It gives you a good feeling. It was an intense locker room and it got really heated in there.”

Okeechobee gained 287 yards rushing the football while Glades Day was held to only 88 yards. The Gators quarterback Cory Surls competed (11-23 for 112 yards and a touchdown). He hit Gerald Jackson for a 68-yard touchdown in the final two minutes.

Glades Day was plagued by three fumbles in the first half. Okeechobee was plagued by 137 yards in penalties, many of which cancelled out positive plays.

Glades Day also scored on a 91-yard kick return by Christian Ellison in the first quarter. It answered a four-play, 69-yard drive by the Brahmans that started the game that was capped by a 55-yard touchdown run by Fludd.

Glades Day got a 28-yard punt return by Pierre in the first quarter that gave them first down at the Okeechobee 35-yard line. After fullback Eric Shultz converted a third and five with a 6-yard pass reception in the flat, the Brahman defense stiffened and Surls fourth down pass in the end zone sailed over the head of Nikos McMahon at the goal line. Okeechobee’s responded with two tough runs inside followed by a penalty and faced a fourth and two at their own 28. Most times coaches decide to punt and play it safe. Fludd asked the coaches to believe in him, and they took a gamble on fourth down and were rewarded as Fludd escaped the backfield, broke a tackle at the Brahmans 45, and then ran untouched into the end zone to change the tenor of the game.

 Game notes

Markens Pierre had 64 yards rushing for the Gators. Jajuan Cherry had 46 yards rushing for Okeechobee. Brahmans with tackles for loss included Fred Bradley, Martinez, Deshon Wellington, Joseph Benjamin and Arthur Woodruff. Caleb Smith and Woodruff recovered fumbles for Okeechobee. Gators with tackles in the backfield included Christopher Guerry, Mohammed Ali, Lorenzo Powe and Christian Fiedor. Okeechobee travels to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando Friday to play Amherst County, Va. Glades Day will host Somerset Academy of Pembroke Pines Friday.

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