NAPLES - The Island Coast Gators' playoff run didn't last long.
The Gators ran into a buzz saw Friday night, falling 45-7 to the second-ranked Naples Golden Eagles at Staver Field in the quarterfinal round of the Region 6A-3 football playoffs.
"I knew our defense is a young defense, and this (Naples) is an explosive offense," Island Coast coach Joe Bowen said. "And we were going to have our hands full keeping up with them.
SCOTT McINTYRE, NAPLES DAILY NEWS
Naples defenders swarm to Island Coast ballcarrier Torien Thomas Friday night.
"They're a great team, a great ballclub. My hat goes off to them. I'm pretty sure they're gonna go pretty far in the playoffs."
The Gators struggled to slow the Eagles (10-0) on offense all night. Manny Morgan rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Kilton Anderson threw two TD passes and had a pair of short touchdown runs.
The Golden Eagles only punted once, late in the third quarter. Even that went in Naples' favor, bouncing 61 yards and pinning Island Coast deep. That eventually set up an Eagles field goal.
The Naples defense forced Island Coast quarterback Kurt Benkert into an interception and a fumble, and the Eagles' special teams blocked two Benkert punts.
Naples travels to South Fort Myers next Friday in the Region 6A-3 semifinal round of the playoffs.
The Gators finish the season 8-3.
"All in all I'm proud of my guys," Bowen said. "We had a great season. I don't want to take anything away from our guys. We accomplished a lot this year. I'm very happy with my guys."
Against Naples, Island Coast had little room for error. Unfortunately, the errors occurred.
Benkert's pass into the end zone was intercepted by Naples' Jordan Perez, stalling a solid 60-yard opening drive to the Naples 20-yard line.
The Golden Eagles then rolled 80 yards to score, the drive capped by Morgan's 13-yard run.
Benkert was sacked and fumbled on his own 17 late in the first quarter. Naples' Anderson scored from three yards out on the final play of the period.
Anderson connected with Travis Manhardt on a 15-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter.
Island Coast got on the board in the final minute of the half, with Devon Calhoun scoring on a one-yard run. Benkert completed his last five passes of the half to set up Calhoun's score.
Morgan rushed for 95 yards in the first half alone.
The first blocked punt resulted in a 26-yard Jerry Nunez field goal in the third quarter, and Anderson hit Manhardt for a 20-yard fourth-quarter TD after the second punt block.
Island Coast 0 7 0 0 - 7
Naples 14 7 10 14 - 45
N - Manny Morgan 13 run (Jerry Nunez kick)
N - Kilton Anderson 3 run (Nunez kick)
N - Travis Manhardt 15 pass from Anderson (Nunez kick)
IC - Devon Calhoun 1 run (Kevin Vigne kick)
N - Morgan 10 run (Nunez kick)
N - FG, Nunez 26
N - Anderson 1 run (Nunez kick)
N - Manhardt 20 pass from Anderson (Nunez kick)