On a day where Lee County teams had sand kicked in their face all day long by teams from the Miami area, it was a Cape Youth team that gave last year's Pee Wee champions fits on Saturday at the regional playoffs in North Fort Myers on Saturday.
The Junior Midget Tornadoes gave the Jensen Beach Falcons all they could handle for a half before mistakes and their heavily-talented opponents finally caught up with them in the second half in a 42-19 loss.
Meanwhile, the Midget game between the Cape Hurricanes and the Tacolocy Red Raiders was settled fairly quickly as the Raiders got off to a big lead early and cruised to a 39-6 win.
Cape Youth Junior Midget Luke Endsley (21) looks for daylight during the regional playoff game Saturday against Jensen Beach in North Fort Myers. Cape Youth lost 42-19 to end its season.
But it was the Junior Midget game that had the crowd buzzing, even after Damian Sherwood got the Falcons on the board midway through the first quarter on a seven-yard touchdown run to make it 6-0 Jensen Beach.
Cape Youth got the counterpunch when Luke Endsley threw a halfback option pass to Matt Laker, who waltzed into the end zone to tie the game.
After Laker pounced on the onside kick to give the Tornadoes the ball, Endsley found Laker heading for the corner of the end zone for a 29-yard scoring strike and a 13-6 Cape Youth lead late in the first quarter.
The Falcons soon got their senses about them and started to take control. Tyrese Jackson cut the lead to one with a 45-yard scoring run. Following a Trent Graham fumble recovery to give Jensen Beach the ball back, Curtis Furguson gave the Falcons the lead with an eight-yard scoring run and Owen Kenney two-point conversion to make it 20-13.
Cape Youth didn't go down without a fight. Endsley got to the corner on the next possession and went 75 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 20-19 at the half.
The second half was all Falcons as they went on an eight-minute drive on their opening possession. Jackson ran it in from seven yards out and Kenney made the conversion to make it 28-19.
A Liam Martin fumble recovery midway through the fourth quarter led to an Anthony Cannata touchdown reception, and a Sherwood interception led to his 26-yard scoring run to blow the game open.
"Our team played hard and we pounded it and grounded it," said a Cape Youth coach. "We had three turnovers and that summed up the game."
The Midget game wasn't much of a contest. Alex Knight returned a punt for a touchdown to give Tacolcy a 6-0 lead. Juwaun Ray recovered a fumble soon after, allowing Alberto Pena to score 28-yard touchdown scamper and extra point to make it 14-0.
After Knight recovered a fumble, Pena scored his second touchdown, a 50-yard pass from Knight for a 20-0 Red Raider lead late in the first quarter.
Ryan Plasencia recovered a fumble and ZaQuandre White scored to cut the lead to 20-6late in the second quarter, but that was about all the good news the Hurricanes would get.
Rayvon Ragin caught the third touchdown pass of the day in the last minute of the half to make it 26-6 at the half.
Knight scored on the first possession of the second half, and Pena scored his third touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make it 39-6, which forced a running clock for the remainder of the game.