OKEECHOBEE — Clewiston jumped out to a 24-0 first half lead and went on to ruin the Brahman senior night and their hopes of a non-losing season with a 38-21 victory over Okeechobee Friday night in the OHS football season finale.
Tiger QB Davis Witt completed 80 percent of his passes for 248 yards for the Tigers. Reginald Henderson caught a 50 yard touchdown pass and set up another touchdown with a 60 yard catch in the game. RB Tyrin Summers rushed 14 times for 140 yards and two scores for Clewiston (5-5).
Antywyn Fludd ran for 112 yards on 15 carries and threw for 69 yards and two touchdowns for Okeechobee. He added a 92 yard kick return for a touchdown for OHS, (4-6).
Brahman Coach Chris Branham said he felt the team played much better in the second half after being shut out for much of the first half. He said he hopes the team works hard in the off season so that the team can continue to improve in 2016.
“It was an emotional night. This is the Brahman family. This senior class meant a lot to me because I’ve known them since 8th grade at Osceola Middle School,” he noted.
Branham said Fludd played another outstanding game and showed he is capable of playing at a higher level once he graduates in 2017.
“He’s a special player and we have a close relationship. Sometimes he’ll just give me that look and said I’ve got this coach and he came through in the second half tonight,” he added.
Senior Edrick Neal said despite the loss it was a great senior year. “Things happen for a reason. God does everything for a reason. This year it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe next year it’ll happen.”
Senior Fred Bradley said he felt the Brahmans beat some teams this year they shouldn’t have beaten, but lost to a few teams they shouldn’t have lost to. He said he was glad the team played strong in the second half. “The first half was very slow it was almost trash, that wasn’t Brahman football. We came back in the second half and played like we should have in the first half.”
Summers said the Tigers wanted to send out the senior class with a victory and were mentally prepared for this game, “We were all ready. It was a big game for the seniors and we wanted to end on a good note.”
Summers said the offensive line made the difference as they opened up some huge holes for him and he simply ran through them.
“I praise them for that. The offensive line was the weak point in our team this year but tonight they proved a point,” he added.
Witt said he was able to pick apart the Brahman defense because he got great protection from his offensive line. “We were disappointed that there is no playoff this year. But we wanted to send the seniors out with a bang.”
Witt said Henderson is almost like a safety blanket because he can make catches other players are not capable to making.
“I feel when I throw a pass to him he’s already caught the ball. I can just throw it up and give him a chance and most of the time he gives me a great effort and comes down with the ball,” he added.
Henderson made the play of the game when with double coverage he out jumped two Brahmans and caught the ball at the Okeechobee 30 and jogged into the end zone with just nine seconds left in the first half.
Okeechobee never quit in the second half as Fludd had an interception and threw touchdown passes of 15 yards to Colton Smith and 39 yards to Zeke Matthews.
Evan Neal was lost to an ankle injury in the first half. The preliminary report was an ankle sprain. 14 seniors played their final high school game for Okeechobee. They include Juan Martinez, Terrence Boswell, Jacob Emmick, Alex Garcia, Zeke Matthews, Wyatt Bessenbacher, Cameron Morris, Angel Garcia, Fred Bradley, Colton Smith, Arthur Woodruff, Andrew Wine, Patrick Covington and Edrick Neal.
Fludd ended the season with 12 touchdown passes. Clewiston had 341 yards in the first half.
Tackles for loss for the Brahmans included Matt Garcia with two, Caleb Smith, Juan Martinez, Arthur Woodruff, Fred Bradley and Jacob Emmick. Terrence Boswell had two QB sacks for OHS. Andre Taylor and Jadan Thompson had several tackles in the backfield for Clewiston.
Zeke Matthews had 50 yards in receptions on the final drive of the season. Juanyae Ford rushed six times for 41 yards.
All the seniors in extra-curricular fall season activities that include the OHS band, cheerleaders, ROTC, girls golf, boys golf, boys cross country, girls cross country, boys swimming, girls swimming, and girls volleyball were honored before the game.
Charles M. Murphy is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News