The Fort Myers Green Wave homecoming game didn't end happily for the hosts as a two-hour weather delay and a 31-yard field goal in overtime by Island Coast senior kicker Kevin Vigne gave the visiting Gators a 24-21 victory Friday night.
This matchup will play a major role in deciding the District 6A-11 champion and runner-up in Lee County's largest district, with both teams yet to play still undefeated district rival South Fort Myers.
Things started badly for Fort Myers. On the third play of their opening series junior tailback T.J. Morgan put the ball on the ground and junior Christian Diaz recovered to give Island Coast great field position on the Green Wave 20. Two plays later, senior quarterback Kurt Benkert ran a quarterback draw straight up the middle for a 10-yard touchdown. Vigne added the extra point and the Gators were quickly out in front 7-0.
Following an exchange of punts, Fort Myers struck back. Senior quarterback T.J. Douglas found senior wide receiver Devin Williams on a deep post pattern. Williams shook off a defender and took the ball in from 51 yards. Senior kicker Steve Brosy's extra point kick tied the game 7-7.
The Green Wave were introduced to Gators senior runningback Devon Calhoun in the second quarter. Calhoun became the workhorse running 15 times for 62 yards and two touchdowns and never shied away from contact. The Gators put together an 11-play, 64-yard drive capped by Calhoun's first TD, a punishing 15-yard rumble through the defense. Vigne added the extra point for 14-7 lead.
Following a punt, Island Coast got the ball back near midfield with 1:25 to go in the first half. On third-and-19, Benkert scrambled and heaved the ball down the right sideline. Senior wide receiver T.J. Johnson got behind the defense and took the ball to the Fort Myers 5-yard line. On the next play, Calhoun stormed through the middle for his second touchdown. With extra point the Gators led at the half 21-7.
The third quarter saw very little offense until late. Fort Myers finally got something going behind the determined running of sophomore Terrance Moore. A 45-yard drive saw Moore carry six straight times for 36 yards, and on the second carry of the fourth quarter Moore dove across the goal line from two yards out. After the extra point, the Wave were within 21-14.
The Gators took the kickoff at their own 19. After two plays for no gain, Benkert fired a screen to junior tight end Tyler Carver who immediately took a vicious hit from junior Mackensley Coby and coughed up the ball. Senior linebacker George Paulk scooped it up and took it in to the end zone from 20 yards. A extra point tied the game 21-21.
Neither team came up with the deciding score in regulation, but Island Coast came closest when Johnson had a pass knocked away from him in the end zone as time expired and the game headed for overtime.
Fort Myers was the first offense, but an illegal procedure penalty and a sack forced a 35-yard field goal attempt that was wide left.
The Gators proceeded in the wrong direction with a procedure penalty and two dives by Calhoun. Vigne lined up for the field goal attempt and was right down the middle from 31 yards to secure the victory.
Island Coast head coach Joe Bowen said of the game's final play, "I was just way too nervous to look."
Fort Myers visits South Fort Myers while Island Coast hosts Bishop Verot next Friday.
Island Coast 7 14 0 0 3 - 24
Fort Myers 7 0 0 14 0 - 21
IC - Benkert 10 run (Vigne kick)
FM - Douglas 51 pass to Williams (Brosy kick)
IC - Calhoun 15 run (Vigne kick)
IC - Calhoun 5 run (Vigne kick)
FM - Moore 2 run (Brosy kick)
FM - Paulk 20 fumble recovery (Brosy kick)
IC- FG, Vigne 31