Bubba Fludd had a hand in four touchdowns and Okeechobee’s defense held the Cowboys to 77 total yards as Okeechobee blasted LaBelle 38-7 in the exhibition kickoff classic held Friday.
Fludd scored on a 75-yard touchdown run on the Brahmans first offensive play and then added a 14-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He followed up with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Zeke Matthews and started the second half with a 94-yard kick return for a score.
Okeechobee also got a 42-yard field goal from Jarrett Mills despite some poor field conditions. The Brahman other score came in the fourth quarter when backup quarterback Logan Etherton hit Angel Garcia for a 20-yard touchdown.
Okeechobee had 284 yards in rushing offense and added 63 yards through the air.
Brahman Coach Chris Branham said he was pleased with the overall play of his team and wanted to make sure everyone got into the game and got a feel for high school football. He also wanted to make sure the other teams don’t just focus on Fludd.
“We have got to get all the players going. I think all our playmakers displayed a bit. We want to make sure we spread it out to keep people off balance so we can make plays,” he explained.
Drayton Billie, 65 yards, Jajuan Cherry 42 yards, Angel Garcia 41 yards, and Lamar Williams 53 yards helped keep the defense honest. Fludd had 119 yards rushing, 43 yards passing and 101 yards in returns for a total of 264 all-purpose yards.
Fludd said he felt the offense has really practiced hard on getting the passing game going so the run game can be more effective.
“Our offense line is much bigger and we’ve been working on offense in practice. They want me to roll out of the pocket more, get the receivers open, complete passes to them and let them score touchdowns.”
The Brahman defense didn’t allow any points in the game and held LaBelle to seven first downs, two of them via penalty. LaBelle was just three for 11 in third down conversions.
Fludd had the only interception of the game. It came one play after a Brahman fumble.
The drive began at the LaBelle 31 and ended with Fludd hitting Matthews in the end zone for a touchdown. Jaxon Purvis and Denilson Casseus recovered fumbles for LaBelle.
Okeechobee had 10 first downs on the night and held the advantage in time of possession. The large offensive front had their way in the second quarter. Reserves hit the field in the second half. Etherton led Okeechobee on an impressive 81 yard drive in the fourth quarter as Billie carried five times for 46 yards.
Okeechobee had 10 penalties in the game for 85 yards. LaBelle punted the ball seven times for 215 yards. Brahmans with tackles behind the line of scrimmage included Arthur Woodruff, Joseph Benjamin, Alex Garcia, Deshon Wellington, and Jajuan Cherry. Fludd knocked down a pass in the end zone to stop a LaBelle scoring drive late in the game.
Matt Price and Amir Yates had tackles for loss for LaBelle.
The start of the game was delayed 20 minutes due to a thunder storm. The field was sloppy due to heavy rains on Thursday.
Marcellus Mitchell returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to account for the Cowboys points.
Okeechobee travels to Glades Day School this Friday to open the regular season. Glades Day defeated Okeechobee 6-0 last year.
Charles M. Murphy is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News