Island Coast senior quarterback Kurt Benkert entered Friday's game as the leading passer in the area. He didn't do anything to add to that, he didn't need to.
A heavy rain grounded the Gators' aerial attack, but the running of senior tailback T.J Johnson and sophomore Zelan Lambert broke the wide game open early in a 48-0 rout at North Fort Myers.
Gators coach Joe Bowen watched his offense explode from the very first play when Johnson took the pitch and rolled around the left end and was off to the races for a 77-yard touchdown. Kevin Vigne added the first of his five PAT kicks and the Gators never looked back.
On the ensuing kickoff, the ball spun to the North Fort Myers 35-yard line, but the Knights failed to cover the ball and the Gators regained possession. Johnson again went around the left end on the first play, this time for 35 yards and his second touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
The Knights finally ran an offensive play, but they too were in for a long night. The Gators kept heavy pressure on quarterback Brandon Makar and quickly forced a punt. A low snap forced punter Connor Black to rush the kick and it was blocked by senior Ter'Rohne Franklin. The Gators recovered on the Knights' 20-yard line.
Two plays later, Lambert bulled through the middle dragging defenders over the goal line from 18 yards. Vigne added his third PAT and it was 21-0 with only five minutes taken off the clock.
In the second quarter, following an exchange of fumbles, Johnson struck again. This time he took the pitch around the left side before cutting back to the middle and racing 78 yards. The score made it 28-0.
The Knights could not generate any offense and Makar was stopped short on fourth down giving the ball back to Island Coast at North's 40-yard line.
J.D. Irons took the handoff on the second play from Benkert over the right side and coasted into the end zone from 35 yards. The Gators led 35-0 at the half.
Bowen pulled his starters in the second half, giving the reserves some playing time. The results were much the same as sophomore Quinn Bourque carried the ball five times for 43 yards on the Gators' opening 66-yard drive culminating with Lambert's third score from nine yards out.
The Gators' defense kept up their relentless play, forcing yet another North punt. Bourque led the Gators on a 64-yard scoring drive. On the opening play of the fourth quarter, Lambert rumbled in from 10 yards and with the extra point the scoring was finished at 48-0.
Johnson led all rushers despite only playing the first half, finishing with 216 yards on nine carries with three touchdowns.
Lambert added 107 yards and three touchdowns. The Island Coast defense perhaps overshadowed by the high scoring offense, gave up just 34 yards of total offense.
Island Coast (3-1) hosts Ida Baker (2-1) next Friday night while North Fort Myers (0-4) travels to South Fort Myers (4-0).
Island Coast21 14 6 7 - 48
North FM 0 0 0 0 - 0
IC - Johnson 77 run (Vigne kick)
IC - Johnson 35 run (Vigne kick)
IC -Lambert18 run (Vigne kick)
IC - Johnson 78 run (Vigne kick)
IC - Irons 35 run (Vigne kick)
IC - Lambert 9 run (kick failed)
IC - Lambert 9 run (Vigne kick)