By: Gus Wilson
The Key West Fighting Conchs started off their season with a thrilling win in their preseason match up against Cypress Lakes winning 35-28 in overtime. The Conchs and Panthers battled back and forth, resulting in five separate lead changes and three ties throughout the five quarter game.
Key West’s own Christian Opalsky, junior, scored 5 seconds into the start of the game, electrifying the crowd. He described scoring this early in front of the home crowd by stating, “It was a rush of excitement and it felt really great because I had been looking forward to the opening game all summer so I could show my teammates and coaches what I could do on the field.”
Opalsky plays running back, slot receiver, safety, and also returns punts and kicks for the Conchs. Even though Opalsky scored two touchdowns Friday night, he has even greater goals for the season. “My personal goals are to lead the team in touchdowns, rushing and receiving yards, as well as proving myself as a leader on and off the field.”
Cypress Lakes responded to the explosive return by scoring back to back, putting the Panthers on top by a touchdown. When the first half came to a close, the Panthers lead the Conchs 21-14. Senior T.K. Perkins never lost hope however, saying, “The team really came together as a unit. We played hard and deserved the win.” Perkins plays wide receiver and defensive end for the Conchs. “There’s plenty of work to be done, but were looking forward to a great season and a real shot at the playoffs this year.” Perkins continued.
The Conchs opened the second half scoring from 15 yards out, however the Panthers returned by scoring to put them up heading into the final quarter of regulation. Jonathan Fauutuai gave the fans what they wanted by scoring the game tying run to send the game to overtime. After the Conchs provided a goal line stop, the one yard touchdown run won the game for the Conchs. De-Marques Williamson, a linebacker for the Conchs, thought the team could have gone better. “I think the game on Friday could have gone a little better.” The Conchs started their football season with a bang, and hope to ride the victory throughout the season.
Update: The Conchs have gone 4-2 in the regular season. Of the 4 wins, Key West has blown out Miami Springs 60 to 21 in Miami, and 49 to 20 at home against Dade Christian. Their one loss so far came against Barron Collier 29-17, but bounced back in a close win against The Villages Charter 28 to 21. Spruce Creek snapped the Conchs 3 game win streak by humbling them 41-13 in Key West. They look to bounce back against Jackson on October 11th, 2019.