After Mainland’s 28-13 loss to two-time state champions Apopka in the preseason kickoff classic on the night of Friday, Aug. 17, Buccaneers coach Scott Wilson did two things: He praised his team’s young defense and told the offense to step up.
“I think we played a good game against a great opponent,” Wilson said. “It was a tight game going all the way into the fourth. Things didn’t roll our way, but our kids never gave up. We definitely took some things out of that game that we can build on.”
Apopka scored the first touchdown of the game, played at Daytona Stadium, at the 9:02-mark in the first quarter. A few possessions later, the Buccaneers forced a fumble and recovered the ball, turned the ball over on their own offensive drive and, finally, defensive back Kam Lee forced a fumble, which allowed the Buccaneers to take back the ball.
The first Buccaneers touchdown came from a defender: senior defensive tackle Kevon McCrary, inserted into the offense, scored on a two-yard rush in the second quarter.
The Buccaneers were within a touchdown for much of the game, but Apopka pulled away for good in the fourth quarter.
“Our young defense did a great job of forcing turnovers,” Wilson said. “But our offense has to step up and put points on the board.”