OKEECHOBEE — The Brahmans continue to find different ways to win ball games.
On a night when Okeechobee had more yards in interception returns than rushing yards, the Brahmans still blew out Fort Pierce Westwood 40-0.
Bubba Fludd had a 50 yard punt return and returned an interception for 40 yards, longer than any play he orchestrated on offense, but it was still more than enough.
The place kicker, who normally gets little credit unless he hits or misses a game winning field goal, was the leading scorer for the Brahmans, (4-1).
Jarrett Mills hit four field goals and four extra points, 16 points, for the Brahmans.
He said he has practiced kicking every day for several years just to have a night like this. “I feel pretty good; I feel I had a pretty good game tonight,” he said.
Jajuan Cherry had three yards in total offense but returned an interception 18 yards for a score, and returned an interception 70 yards to set up another Brahman touchdown.
“I have to be aggressive at linebacker. On the touchdown, I knew it was a bubble screen and I shed the blocker grabbed the pick and played some football,” he said.
Other than Marques Burgess, Westwood had no offense to mention. Burgess ran for 111 yards on 26 carries.
Coach Chris Branham said he was very happy with the win and the execution of the offense in the second half. “The defense played strong and we’ve had to great weeks of defense and we hope to build off that.”
Branham said his plays trust what they see, trust in what they know and stay together.
“We kept it very simple and didn’t try to do anything fancy. I felt we executed at a great level tonight. We stayed together, fed off one another, and made plays,” he added.
He said the defense set the tone for the game. They held Westwood to zero yards passing with the four interceptions. Westwood ran for 156 yards as a team.
Okeechobee’s offense wasn’t prolific, but effective. Each time they could drive into Westwood territory, Mills was there to add a field goal.
Okeechobee ran for 167 yards and passed for a season low 49 yards in the game.
Mills also helped with field position as he had four touchbacks on kickoffs.
“I feel field position is a big part of the game. If you can control the field you make their offense cover more ground,” he added.
Branham said the team takes one game at a time. They have a short week of practice this week before they travel to Palm Bay-Bayside for another district game on Friday. He will limit the amount of contact in practice so the kids can recover physically for the game.
“We are not a team of All-Americans or All-area players. These kids play together and rely on one another. It is a special thing to be involved with.”
Branham said the team goal is to reach eight regular season wins, which would tie a school record.
“We are hungry for it and we will push through and get better each week in practice,” he added.
Cherry said the brother hood and chemistry of the team is the big difference this year. He said the team also holds each other accountable.
“We can do something that has never been done before at Okeechobee High. We have a chance to be great and I want to be a part of that,” he added.
Bubba Fludd rushed for 76 yards but only completed one forward pass. Logan Etherton threw a touchdown pass to Jermaine Moore when Moore out battled the cornerback for a 33 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Lamar Williams had 88 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown. Malcolm Chambers was injured in the first half. Kysell Richardson returned an interception 41 yards in the second half.
On defense Mateo Vasquez had several tackles in the backfield, he also recovered a fumble. Tanner Thortan, Bobby Wright, Cherry, and Juan’Yae Ford also had tackles for loss. Willie Lewis had an interception for Westwood. Malik Mosley had a tackle for loss for the Panthers (1-5).
Jesse Mond recovered an onside kick for Okeechobee.
Charles M. Murphy is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News