Here’s a roundup of Southwest Florida football games played on Friday, Oct. 14.
More: North Fort Myers football awaiting chance to return to field after Hurricane Ian disruption
More: ‘It looked like our season was over.’ Lee County football teams welcome a second chance
Naples 59, Lely 0
WATCH: Naples routs Lely to capture the Coconut Bowl, Class 3S-District 16 championship
The Golden Eagles’ run game had little problems, as Arkansas commit Isaiah Augustave rushed for a career-high 201 yards on four carries with three scores.
Alex Martin, Naples Daily News
Like many games between the two teams in recent memory, this one got out of hand quickly.
The Golden Eagles wasted no time against the visiting Trojans, capturing the Coconut Bowl and the Class 3S-District 16 championship with a resounding 59-0 win.
It took just under two minutes as Arkansas commit Isaiah Augustave broke a 48-yard run to give Naples an early 7-0 lead.
In short order after a bad snap, Jack Melton scored on the first play after the turnover, hitting paydirt from 8 yards out with 7:10 to go in the first quarter.
Augustave wasn’t done though, as he scored on touchdown runs of 53 and 93 yards to end his night slightly early. Teammate Kendrick Raphael ran for under 100 yards for the first time in 12 games dating back to last season, rushing for 90 yards and a pair of scores.
Keylijah Williams also scored for the Golden Eagles (6-1), catching Niko Boyce’s pass from 34 yards out.
1. Augustave cannot be stopped. The Arkansas commit took all but one of his four touches to the endzone, as he finished with 201 yards and three scores. That’s his highest rushing total in a single game of his high school career.
2. Kensley Faustin’s night in the secondary is one he’ll remember, as the junior had an interception, as well as a fumble on a punt that was recovered in the end zone for a score. Faustin leads the team with three picks.
3. Next week. If you thought Naples’ toughest game all season was going to be Venice, think again. Nationally-ranked American Heritage comes to town next Friday, boasting a multitude of Power Five prospects, headlined by the duo headed to Ohio State in wide receiver Brandon Inniss and running back Mark Fletcher.
1. Streak snapped. The Trojans entered tonight winning back-to-back-to-back games by a combined 84-3 score, with a forfeit over Bonita Springs included. That was tied for the longest win streak in the J.J. Everage era, and the longest since the 2014 season.
2. Guerschom Guerrier met his match Friday night, as the running back logged the third-lowest rushing total of his career with 37 yards. He was held to 28 yards against Gulf Coast in a rain-shortened game earlier this year.
3. Salvaging the season. The Lely football program might have trouble scoring a win in the final few weeks, as contests against Barron Collier, Golden Gate, and Immokalee loom. Just the Titans are the lone team under .500, at 3-4.
— Alex Martin
Barron Collier 31, Golden Gate 6
One week after Barron Collier quarterback Tommy Mooncotch took to the air for the Cougars, it was both his passing and handing off that led his team to victory.
Mooncotch passed for 139 yards and Bryan Daniels rushed for 203 as the Cougars beat Golden Gate in a 3S-District 16 victory.
Mooncotch threw for 296 yards in a loss to Naples on Oct. 7 but was able to win Friday night with more of a rushing game and a good defense.
Daniels had three rushing touchdowns – including one from 73 yards – to help Barron Collier to a win.
Mooncotch’s favorite target was Brody Graham, who had 75 yards receiving as well as a touchdown.
Trayvon Jean led Golden Gate (3-4, 0-2) with 140 yards rushing. He also had the Titans’ only score on the evening.
With the win, Barron Collier (5-1, 2-1) will likely get second in the 3S-16 standings for the season.
BC took advantage of a Naples mistake for its first score. After an interception of Titans quarterback Brian Bachmann, Mooncotch threw a pass to Graham on a slant, and he zipped 53 yards for a touchdown.
So it was a 7-0 Barron lead after one.
Jean sped 31 yards for a touchdown early in the second, but the Titans couldn’t knot it up at 7-7 after Golden Gate missed the PAT.
Daniels ran for two touchdowns later in the period to give the Cougars a 21-6 lead at halftime.
Trailing 24-6, the Titans got a glimmer of hope when Bradley Martino intercepted Mooncotch and returned it to the BC 8-yard line. But the drive died at the 2-yard line when a quarterback draw play failed on 4th down.
Daniels added a long TD run in the last quarter.
Barron Collier takeaways
1. Despite the Cougars’ impressive running and passing, the offensive line set the tone for things Friday night. “This was a very physical game for both teams,” said Barron Collier coach Mark Jackson. “The offensive line took over the game for us. They helped us run the football really well. We were balanced. And when we are balanced, we are tough to stop.”
2. BC’s defense pressured Bachmann. “Our defense swarmed to the quarterback,” Jackson said. “I was pleased by how tough we were, especially on defense. We swarmed to the quarterback well and made some turnovers.”
3. The Cougars still managed to handle Jean well, even though he got his yards. “They (Golden Gate) have a very athletic running back (Jean), and we managed to bottle him up,” Jackson said.
Golden Gate takeaways
1. An early turnover was vital to the outcome. Linebacker Bolton Jackson intercepted a pass well into Cougar territory, ending a Titan drive that had started at the Golden Gate 19-yard line. Five plays later, Mooncotch passed to Graham for the Cougars’ first score.
2. If fans wanted to get a pulse on the game, the scoreboard wasn’t the place to look. “The score didn’t indicate what kind of game it was,” Golden Gate coach Nick Bigica said. “We were able to move the football around. But we just couldn’t finish drives and made some silly mistakes. You have to give the Barron Collier defensive coordinator credit, ‘cause their defense did a good job.”
3. Golden Gate was victimized by three interceptions – one each by Jackson, Ian Roy and Monchy Mardi.
Lehigh 19, Charlotte 14
Dorian Mallary scored twice and James Little had two interceptions, the last with less than two minutes remaining as the Lehigh Senior High School football team held on for a 19-14 victory Friday.
For both teams, it was their first game back since Hurricane Ian smashed into Southwest Florida, and while it wasn’t a cleanly played game by either team, it did produce some drama.
Trailing 13-0 at the half and having done nothing offensively in the first half, the Tarpons got back in it on a 63-yard touchdown run by Shy Goudette to make it 13-7 midway through the third quarter.
The Lightning responded as Richard Young, who rushed for 123 yards, scored on a 10-yard run in the final seconds of the third quarter to up Lehigh’s lead to 19-7.
Charlotte countered with a 14-play 74-yard drive that took five minutes off the clock. Quarterback Michael Valentino plunged in from two yards to get Charlotte within 19-14 with 7:54 remaining.
The Tarpons had one last chance in the closing minutes, but Little made the pick to seal the win for Lehigh (2-3) and to keep Charlotte winless (0-5).
“I didn’t want to give Charlotte another chance. This was a winner-go-home game and I wanted to give my team a chance,” Little said. “I did everything I could. After all we went through, this means a lot to us.”
Lehigh built its early lead on two touchdown runs from Mallary, one set up by the first Little interception in the second quarter.
1. The game provided an escape from all the misery we’ve had the last few weeks and the kids played an exciting game with Lehigh holding on. But having all that time off has exposed some things the Lightning need to work on.
2. The Lightning need to get in better shape. It’s understandable considering everything that has happened, but just doing wind sprints doesn’t get you into game shape.
“We need to get in better condition. We did the best we could under the circumstances, but we need to get better at that,” Lehigh coach James Chaney said.
3. The Lightning still has not found an identity on offense despite all the athletes they have. Are they a running team? A passing team? Does Richard Young have to carry the team on his back?
“Our defense made mistakes but didn’t blink. But we have work to do on the offense.”
Fort Myers 35, South Fort Myers 0
Watch: Fort Myers shuts out South Fort Myers in district battle
The Greenies shut out the Wolfpack and had five rushing touchdowns in a 35-0 win on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022.
Dustin B Levy, Fort Myers News-Press
The Green Wave and the Wolfpack were thrown into a district battle two weeks after Hurricane Ian turned Southwest Florida upside down.
It was Fort Myers on the road, behind a powerful rushing attack, that came out on top, but, for many, it was refreshing just to be back out there on a Friday night.
“Just happy to get one under their belt and now we can hopefully get back to school and start getting some normalcy,” Fort Myers head coach Sam Sirianni said. “It’s a long haul back.”
The Green Wave defense got things going when Charles Michael forced the ball out on South’s first offensive play and James Zuk recovered to give the offense good field position. A few plays later, Madrid Tucker ran in an 11-yard touchdown.
Fort Myers running back Ricardo Noel scored the first of his three touchdowns on the night before halftime, punching in a goal-line score. His third-quarter touchdowns came from 26 and 2 yards out.
Pat Clemons concluded the scoring with a 3-yard run, Fort Myers’ fifth rushing touchdown of the game.
South Fort Myers showed plenty of promise, particularly in the passing game, but too often their positive drives were stymied by miscues.
“We’ve got to get back to work, got to keep trying to get better,” South head coach Willis May said. “That’s been the focus all year.”
Fort Myers takeaways
1. Noel played his best game of the season. The Fort Myers running back carried the ball 17 times for 136 yards and three touchdowns.
Noel got better as the game went on, showing impressive physicality after the lengthy layoff.
2. The defense played its part. The front seven had a terrific night, consistently making life difficult in the Wolfpack backfield. The secondary stepped up too with La’ern Bonelli and Garyan Burner picking off South Fort Myers quarterback Chase Enguita.
“Our defense, I can’t say enough about them,” Sirianni said.
3. Sirianni believed the team left too many plays on the field. However, he felt they stepped up after halftime to help the team pick up their third consecutive win.
“I’m proud of the kids,” he said. “I think, as we got going, both teams got better and got after it, but it was a district game. It was a big game, and we needed this one.”
South Fort Myers takeaways
1. The Wolfpack averaged 212 rushing yards a game coming into this contest. Fort Myers limited them to around 30 yards on Friday.
2. However, the passing game came up big – in particular the connection between Enguita and sophomore Damari Loggins, who caught seven passes for 95 yards.
“Damarri’s going to be awesome,” May said. “He’s going to be a great player. He’s getting better and better every game. He was going at it as hard as he could. He was trying to help his team win, and that’s Damarri – he tries to do whatever he can do to try to make a difference, and I love that about him.”
3. The storm took its toll on the Wolfpack. May felt the team took a “big step” in their loss to LaSalle two weeks ago, but the interruption hurt their momentum. More importantly, several members of the team were dealing with life circumstances throughout the week as a result of the storm.
“I was hoping we’d be able to build off that and come back, and then we get a hurricane, sets us out for a couple weeks,” May said. “Then we come back and we got seven guys not able to be at practice all week.”
Immokalee 29, Palmetto Ridge 0
WATCH: Palmetto Ridge vs. Immokalee
Highlights from Immokalee’s district road win over Palmetto Ridge
Naples Daily News
Immokalee completed a shutout against District 4S-16 opponent Palmetto Ridge. Its defense was key in the victory, picking up timely stops and consistent three-and-outs as well as a safety on a Palmetto Ridge fake punt attempt. Schneider Saint-Germain highlighted the defensive effort with two interceptions in the endzone, while the Indian front picked up two sacks and multiple quarterback hurries.
Trannon Villareal led the Immokalee offense, scoring all four touchdowns. He threw for 6-of-9 passing with 165 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 61 yards with one touchdown.
Isaiah Allen reeled in two touchdown passes from Villareal, while Ted Blanchard caught one. Justin Compere tallied 76 rushing yards on ten carries and multiple chain-movers in the winning effort.
The Bears got to the red zone early in the matchup, but miscues kept them out of the endzone. In the first half, Palmetto Ridge’s red zone appearances resulted in a turnover on downs, a fumble, and an interception in the endzone.
Bears’ quarterback Demetri Zertopolis went 9-for-17 passing with 83 yards and two interceptions, while Khari Bendolph tallied 86 rushing yards on 17 touches.
Penalties were an added challenge for the Bears in the loss. Throughout the night, Palmetto Ridge had efficient drives and red zone appearances killed by chop blocks and delay-of-games.
Their defense showed flashes of success, highlighted by Marvens Simpreux’s back-to-back sacks, and an interception from Edwoun Octa on an earlier drive.
1. The offense continues to keep defenses honest with their balanced attack. “I’m proud of our ability to execute early in games,” said head coach James Delgado. “We struggled to do that early in the season, and thankfully, we made some big plays early.”
2. Immokalee’s defense started the game with a series riddled with miscues, but cleaned up quickly thanks to players holding each other accountable. What could seem like arguing from a quick glance is actually the Indian defense pushing itself to be better, and it worked. “I’ll say this, the passion, the desire to win and be great, our kids have,” Delgado said. “Sometimes it’s misguided on how it’s communicated, but when we can channel the right way and make those corrections, man we can be special.”
3. Immokalee came out of the opening kickoff with intensity and managed to build on it throughout the game. “I’m so proud of our ability to hold to a goose egg,” Delgado said. “There were several times when we were backed up against the wall, and our defense just held true and just made plays.”
Palmetto Ridge takeaways
1. The Bears continue to struggle in the red zone. “We’ve been plagued by silly things all year long,” said head coach Paul Giovine. “What we’re doing right, we need to rep that and make sure the small things do not hamper us and cause little penalties when you’ve got momentum in the end zone.”
2. The Bears made some out-of-the-ordinary play calls in the loss that cost them in some spots. “You know, some of its playcalling and that’s my bad,” Giovine said. “You know maybe, don’t make the best call under a certain set of circumstances. I think all these things are fixable.”
3. The Bears could’ve laid down after a rough first half, but continued to play full-force for every drive. “Frustrating, but what was good was that we felt like we had an opportunity to win all game,” Giovine said. “Our run game finally showed up, and we ran the ball like I believe we can run the ball with the personnel we have. We did a great job, and then we lost two linemen. But you know what, you’ve got to find a way to win even though those things are happening, that’s what makes a good coach versus a bad coach, so right now I’m a bad coach.”
Gulf Coast 45, West Broward 13
Watch highlights of Gulf Coast vs. West Broward
The Sharks picked up a win on Friday, Oct. 14.
John Rinkenbaugh, Special to The News-Press
A tireless Gulf Coast defense withstood a withering West Broward passing attack to earn the victory on Senior Night.
After a 33-yard touchdown pass was called back for holding, quarterback Konnor Barrett scrambled to his right on a third and long finding Davion Grant for a 43-yard touchdown strike.
West Broward couldn’t get its running game going and relied on the arm of quarterback Jonathan Morillo (24-51-0, 299 yards) but the aerial game was largely ineffective due to the Gulf Coast pass rush.
“We’re really blessed that we have two athletic defensive ends and they play hard,” said Shark head coach Todd Nichols.
Gulf Coast would score its second touchdown through the air when Barrett flipped a swing pass to AJ Lubin for a 31-yard touchdown putting the Sharks out front 17-0.
West Broward wouldn’t go away but a high snap led to a back-breaking score when Christopher Jimenez scooped the ball up and ran 63 yards with 29 seconds left in the third quarter. It was Jimenez’s second fumble recovery of the game.
Then the Sharks turned to their run game led by seniors Will Pasternak and Elias Muscarella.
A weary Bobcat defense gave up the final score to Muscarella (11 carries, 93 yards) who rambled 31 yards for the game’s final touchdown.
“The first half was wild and we’re a little rusty with Konnor coming back but we made plays when we had to,” said Nichols.
Barrett served out a suspension last week and will face a short week to prepare for a Thursday night road game in Moore Haven.
Gulf Coast takeaways
1. Defensive ends William Brockmeier and Landen Riner are a handful. Brockmeier sacked Morillo three times and Riner took down Morillo for a sack as well. Brockmeier also made a big special teams play recovering a bad punt snap in the third quarter to put the Sharks in good field position. The Sharks recovered four fumbles in all.
2. Quarterback Konnor Barrett showed a little rust, especially handling snaps from the spread formation. But the senior quarterback made a highlight-worthy touchdown run of 50 yards late in the second quarter. In the end Barrett (13-15-0, 176 yards) gave way Jackson Varoski who ran the offense as the Sharks worked to run out the clock.
3. The Sharks’ heavy package put a world of hurt on the Bobcat defense. It featured wideout Joseph Miller in the quarterback position. Working a short field Gulf Coast used Miller and Pasternak to power the ball toward the goal line. When it was over Miller scored on a 5-yard run and the Sharks’ ground game ended the evening with 229 yards.
Canterbury 49, Boca Raton Christian 0
Watch highlights as Canterbury picks up a shutout win against Boca Raton Christian
The Cougars picked up a 49-0 win on their home field.
Conner Johnston, Special to The News-Press
The Cougars improved to 5-0 behind Leroy Roker’s explosive play and the stingy Canterbury defense.
On the opening Kickoff, Boca Raton Christian lost a fumble. The Cougars capitalized quickly with a 25-yard rushing score by Roker. This was just the start of a dominant quarter of play for the Cougars. They would go on to score two more unanswered touchdowns in the first.
Roker got back to work in the second quarter with a 65-yard rushing touchdown. He followed this score up with another huge rushing touchdown taking the ball in from 50 yards out to score three times in the first half.
Kevin Gonzalez recorded a pick-six, and Alex Camarca threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Ashley to give the Cougars a commanding 36-point lead at the half.
The second half was not much different. The Cougars kept the ball on the ground, opting not to throw. AZ Leavette joined the big play club, taking the ball around the edge of the Boca Raton defense and scoring a 25-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter.
Boca Raton Christian found themselves backed up near their end zone as the clock was winding down. They took one more shot down the field that Roker was able to pick off and take to the end zone to take his scoring total to four touchdowns on the night.
The Canterbury offense finished the night with 236 yards on the ground. Roker led the rushing attack with 176 yards on nine carries with three touchdowns.
Canterbury’s defense held Boca Raton Christian to only 71 yards on offense. With 30 yards coming off one big run by runningback Maxwell Charles. The Cougars defense also produced two scores coming off of pick-sixes.
1. Canterbury returned to the field for the first time since Hurricane Ian and had its full roster. “It is great for our kids to be back on the field,” said coach Stacy Sizemore.
2. Penalties proved to be a big issue for the Cougars. They recorded nine. Four of those penalties were pass interference calls. “We have some cleaning up to do,” said Sizemore. “We are trying to get back into a rhythm.”
3. Passing the ball is something the Cougars have not had to do all year. “We are going to have to throw the ball, so we will keep improving in that area,” said Sizemore. The Cougars only threw the ball twice. When they did, Camarca threw a perfect ball for a touchdown.
Bishop Verot 67, Gateway 0
Watch as Bishop Verot beats Gateway in their return from Hurricane Ian
The Vikings scored early and often to beat the Eagles.
Ed Reed, Fort Myers News-Press
The Vikings didn’t look like a team that hadn’t played in three weeks.
In Verot’s first game back from Hurricane Ian, the Vikings scored on every one of their offensive drives, rolling to a 67-0 victory over the visiting Gateway Eagles at Viking Stadium. The Vikings moved to 1-0 in District 2S-16, setting up a likely showdown with Estero in two weeks.
”It was just good to be back out there,” Verot head coach Richie Rode said. “Our kids have been through so much the last two weeks, and I’m really proud of the way they came out and competed tonight.”
Verot quarterback Carter Smith carved up the Gateway defense to the tune of 319 passing yards and five touchdowns, all of which came in the first half. Smith’s five touchdowns went to four different receivers, and four of the five scores went for longer than 30 yards.
The Vikings raced out to a 25-0 lead in the first quarter, as Smith tossed two touchdowns to Tookie Watts and another to Trevontay Watts. Verot scored four more times in the second quarter, thanks to touchdown catches from Timmy Lawson and Matthew Turner, a run from Smith, and a special teams touchdown on an errant punt snap by Ralph Hendry.
Defensively, the Viking defense held Gateway to just 100 total yards and kept the Eagles to negative rushing yards.
Bishop Verot takeaways
1. Special Smith: Smith continued to make his case for Player of the Year honors, scoring six touchdowns in seven offensive possessions. The quarterback completed eleven of his 15 passes for 319 yards and five touchdowns and added 41 yards and a touchdown on three carries.
2. Spread it around: Smith was not picky in his 11 completions, as seven different Vikings logged a reception and four scored touchdowns through the air. Tookie Watts was the only Viking with more than two receptions, while Trevontay Watts led Verot in yardage with 103 on just two catches.
3. Feed the future: The Vikings showcased a bright future in the second half, scoring on both of their offensive possessions with mostly freshmen and sophomores on the field. Backup quarterback Mason Zehnder scored from a yard out on the first drive, and freshman Macrae Thompson plunged in from eleven yards out late in the fourth quarter.
1. Glimmer of hope: Gateway showed signs of life offensively with a quick strike passing attack. Quarterback Jamarion McElroy completed 20 of his 32 passes for 104 yards, usually throwing after a one- or two-step drop. Against a team that is closer to the Eagles in talent, the air raid-style offense could prove to be fruitful.
Estero 42, Key West 37
Two Jason Duclona touchdown catches and a pair of scoop-and-score plays from the defense paced the Wildcats in raising their season mark to 6-0.
Nemanja Radenmovic returned a fumble for a touchdown right before halftime, and Mason Palkovic followed suit in the third quarter. The Conchs, down 42-20, rallied on their home field to make a game of it.
“We found a way to win,” coach Darren Nelson said. “That’s our MO. We win 3-0 (Sept. 23) and 7-0 the week before that, then we put up 42 tonight.”
Cypress Lake 10, East Lee County 0
Cypress Lake shut out East Lee in their return from Hurricane Ian
The Panthers picked up a 10-0 win against the Jaguars on Oct. 14.
Ryan Caudill, Special to The News-Press
The rust of being off since Sept. 23 because of Hurricane Ian showed as neither team was able to find any spark on the offensive side of the ball in this District 3S-15 game.
The only first-half points came off a 32-yard field goal by Cypress Lake kicker Zeke Dube-Garrett. The Panthers were able to extend their lead after the Jaguars muffed a punt return at their own 5-yard line. A few plays later, Cypress Lake’s E.J. Codie punched it into the endzone. Cypress Lake was able to withstand a late push from the East Lee offense as time ran out securing their first district win of the season.
The Panthers turned the ball over 3 times (2 fumbles, interception). Cypress Lake must protect the ball and keep possessions going. The Jaguars turned the ball over only once, but it proved to be crucial.
Pahokee 21, First Baptist 12
A close battle much of the night wasn’t decided until Pahokee intercepted a pass with 26 seconds to play. That came after a heroic Lions (3-2) defensive stand, holding Pahokee four times from the FBA 1.
“I think we could have gotten two or three more scores early, and could have really changed things,” FBA coach Billy Sparacio said. “But we couldn’t make that happen. The kids fought hard, and I’m really proud of that, but we just didn’t make the plays we needed to.”
First Baptist scored first but gave up two Pahokee scores in the final 6:37 before halftime, including the go-ahead score on the half’s final play. Sam Sparacio scored for FBA on a 12-yard run at the end of the first quarter, set up by Richemard Mellien’s interception. A lightning delay then stopped play for 90 minutes. Mellien scored the Lions’ other touchdown on a 2-yard run.
ECS 33, St. John Neumann 0
The Sentinels didn’t miss a beat in the resumption after Hurricane Ian, putting together another dominant performance for their third shutout to improve to 5-0.
ECS head coach Mack Mitchell said his squad shined in all three phases despite the layoff.
“As a coach, I was worried about not playing for almost a month,” he said.
Mitchell credited his defense for playing “lights out” to stop the Celtics’ rushing attack. He named Zack Ackerson, Derek Washington and Ethan Matheson as key players in that effort.
Tanner Helton threw three touchdown passes – one to Timmy Miller and two to Jack Shuker. Running back L.J. Blackwell added two rushing touchdowns.
“I’m proud of our boys and their efforts,” Mack said. “They played hard.”
Watch as ECS faces St. John Neumann in a football game
The Sentinels won 33-0 on Friday, Oct. 14.
Melvin Whitlock, Special to The News-Press
1. The Sentinels are not only dangerous in the air but also on the ground. Senior Timmy Miller carried the ball 8 times for 84 yards and Blackwell carried the ball 10 times for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, the Sentinels racked up over 200 yards of offense on the ground.
2. Tanner Helton is ‘different.’ We hear this term a lot, but it is reserved for athletes who have a tremendous upside to their talent. While he does not fit the model of today’s mobile quarterback, he is a throwback to the classic pocket quarterback who is tall enough to see over the line and make key reads.
Helton finished the night 15 of 21 for 225 yards and three touchdowns.
“His upside is through the roof,” Mitchell said. “He’s smart, he already has a D1 offer, and I can see him being one of top quarterbacks in the area going into his senior year.”
3. Still waiting to see the real ECS. Hurricane Ian disrupted the high-profile contest last week between ECS and First Baptist Academy. Although ECS is undefeated, it will be interesting to see how they perform against higher profile teams down the stretch.
St. John Neumann takeaways
1. The Celtics did not do themselves any favors with turnovers. In the second half of the contest, SJN’s defense made two key stops leading to a punt and a turnover on downs. However, both offensive possessions for SJN ended in a fumble and a loss of possession.
2. The Celtics were simply beaten by a more skilled Sentinels squad. Head coach Damon Jones spoke praises of ECS and coach Mitchell, stating “That’s a good team…our team is young and we don’t have the playmakers of years past.” There is no such thing as a ‘good loss,’ however, SJN should not hang their head on losing to one of the two top teams in their competitive conference.
3. The Celtics showed their inexperience and youth. Despite four lost fumbles, two blown coverages that resulted in ECS touchdowns, one of the bright spots for Jones is his team’s no quit attitude.
“The efforts there, we challenged them in the second half,” he said. “We pride ourselves on playing hard even if we’re undersized against our opponents.”
Lowndes 43, Dunbar 12
The Tigers took an early lead, but a surly Lowndes team took over. Coming off their first loss to archrival Valdosta (Ga.) in six years, the Lions (4-3) built momentum and pulled away for the win.
Landon Winterbottom hit Shawn Russ for a 12-yard touchdown to open the scoring. Eric Fletcher’s 65-yard kickoff return made the score 12-7 for Dunbar, but Lowndes scored 23 points in the second quarter to take control. Dunbar took its first loss (3-1) in a season cut drastically short by lightning storms and Hurricane Ian.
Lowndes presented Dunbar with a check for $14,500 to help with Hurricane Ian recovery efforts.
CSN 35, Bradenton Christian 10
Grayson Kerscher scored on two touchdown runs, while Tariq Morame and Decker Crosby had a rushing score each for the Seahawks. Tight end Sean McNamara scored on a TD reception and a 2-point conversion.
“We pretty much had the game in hand at halftime,” coach Paul Selvidio said. “We put some young kids in once we were up 35-0.”