He was a baseball closer in defensive tackle's clothing.
When Jordan Jones saw North Fort Myers quarterback Brandon Makar turn the corner and head up field on the game's final play Friday night at Moody Field, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Cape High senior knew it was his responsibility to get the final out.
"I saw him running out and I went after him. I had to go and get him," Jones said moments after keeping Makar shy of midfield to finish off the Seahawks' unusual 7-5 defeat of the host Red Knights. "I knew that it was my tackle and I knew that I'd get it."
The pursuit and capture put an end to a particularly chaotic final quarter for Jones and his defensive teammates, who'd given up just 57 points in the team's first four wins of the season, but were largely in the shadow of a prolific offense that had averaged more than 38 per victory.
That offense was held in check Friday until junior Rasheen Bailey scampered 29 yards at the halfway mark of the third quarter, a lone score that left it up to the defense to earn its hero stripes.
North Fort Myers, which had established a 3-0 lead on Connor Black's 30-yard field goal just eight seconds before halftime, was kept off the scoreboard on five consecutive possessions after Bailey's TD, which capped a nine-play, 65-yard march.
The hosts ran five plays before a punt on the drive immediately following the touchdown, then missed field goals from 38 (off right upright), 36 (wide left) and 41 (wide left) yards on three more possessions that bridged the end of the third quarter and the first nine-plus minutes of the fourth.
The Seahawks went three-and-out for the fourth time on their final chance with the ball, necessitating a Mateo Perez punt that was blown dead at the North 43 with 68 seconds to play.
"They didn't score, so we must've done a good job," Jones said. "We got down on ourselves for a little bit, but then we started picking it back up at the end. We just started doing our thing."
Makar threw incomplete to wide receiver Brian Byrd down the left sideline on first down of the final possession. He bobbled a shotgun snap and had to dive to cover the ball and prolong the drive. He was sacked in tandem by linemen James Zamor and Sam Hunter on third down, prompting the final dash on the final play on which he rolled right and past the line of scrimmage before Jones' takedown.
"It wasn't pretty, but it was a win," Seahawks coach Larry Gary said. "I want to forget about this one as soon as I give away the game ball."
The dramatic second half was in sharp contrast to a sloppy first, which saw the tea's combine for seven turnovers (two fumbles, five interceptions) and three punts.
Each team also had a touchdown negated by a penalty - the Red Knights when Dylan Czerwinski' 85-yard interception return was called back on a chop block, and Cape's Eliot Pierce's 35-yard strike to Eamon Smart went for naught thanks to a holding infraction.
"I was kind of scared. I thought North was going to pull out a win," Bailey said. "I've got faith in my team. Our defense did a good stop stopping them. I knew it was over and I knew we had won."
Cape Coral0 0 7 0 - 7
North Fort Myers0 3 2 0 - 5
NFM - FG, Black 30
CC - Bailey 29 run (Perez kick)
NFM - Safety, Pierce tackled in end zone