Cape Coral, Island Coast and Ida Baker continued to put points on the scoreboard last weekend, all resulting in big victories. Unfortunately, the same can not be said about the winless Mariner Tritons, who continue to struggle offensively and defensively and absorbed their seventh defeat.
Cape High quarterback Dylan Bontrager threw six touchdown passes on Thursday night as the Seahawks rolled to a 41-25 District 5A-14 victory over Lemon Bay at Dave Warkentin Field.
The win keeps the Seahawks (5-2, 3-1 district) in the hunt for a playoff berth. The currently third-place Seahawks have a crucial district game this Friday at home against second-place Dunbar (4-2, 3-0).
"We've got to get this one next week," Seahawks coach Larry Gary said.
Island Coast entered the weekend leading 5A-14 with a 3-0 district record and a win in hand against the Seahawks. Dunbar took care of Cypress Lake and the Tigers play Island Coast on Oct. 25. Two teams from each district qualify for the playoffs.
Against Lemon Bay, Bontrager completed 20-of-26 passes for 323 yards. He had four TD passes at the half. A week earlier Bontrager, looking rusty in his first game back from a concussion, was intercepted four times in a 34-14 loss at Island Coast.
Eamon Smart, who struggled against Island Coast, ran for 147 yards against Lemon Bay.
Bontrager had TD strikes of 8, 28 and 10 yards to Rasheen Bailey, birthday boy Rhasheed Jiles on a 10-yard score, Austin Cole from 20 yards out and Miguel Repress on a 15-yard TD. It helped that David Martin was back at center for Cape. His absence against Island Coast resulted in several bad snaps that kept Bontrager looking for the ball instead of for receivers.
Lemon Bay 0 7 0 18 - 25
Cape Coral 14 13 0 14 - 41
Cape - Bailey 8 pass from Bontrager (Perez kick)
Cape - Bailey 28 pass from Bontrager (Perez kick)
LB - Reigle 1 run (Kennedy kick)
Cape - Jiles 20 pass from Bontrager (Perez kick)
Cape - Cole 10 pass from Bontrager (kick blocked)
Cape - Repress 15 pass from Bontrager (Perez kick)
LB - Nelson 11 run (kick failed)
Cape - Bailey 10 pass from Bontrager (Perez kick)
LB - Nelson 5 run (conversion failed)
LB - Reigle 1 run (conversion failed)
Island Coast 45, North Fort Myers 6: Island Coast's Eric Russaw completed the latest stage of a 12-step recovery from a loss to Cape High by scoring three touchdowns on five first-half touches in the Gators' romp over North Fort Myers last Friday in a key District 5A-14 matchup at Moody Field.
The win is the Gators' fifth in six games and fourth in four district outings, which keeps them in charge of their own fate as it relates to the postseason. A home win over Cypress Lake this Friday clinches at least a tie for the 5A-14 crown heading into a showdown with Dunbar, also at home on Oct. 25.
Russaw swept in from three yards to give the Gators their initial TD, and a 10-0 lead, at 6:36 of the opening quarter. He took an option toss from quarterback Quinn Bourque 65 yards to make it 24-0 at 4:33 of the second and darted 40 yards with a quick right-side pass for a 31-0 edge just 76 seconds later.
"To us Gators, we've got to be on it 24/7. No laying down, even if there's a thousand up on the board," Russaw said. "We're a good team. We practice sloppy sometimes, but we come together as a family. We just need to play like we were playing Dunbar in every game."
He had two runs for 68 yards and three catches for 49 more in the opening half, which saw the Gators outgain their hosts 260-72, while running 14 fewer plays from scrimmage (35 to 21).
Aside from Russaw's explosions in the opening 24 minutes, the Gators got a 26-yard field goal from Bourque and a 52-yard TD from Bourque to Theodore Mitchell. After the intermission, Elijah-Trey Boyd galloped 60 yards for a score in the third quarter and linebacker Zelan Lambert picked off Brandon Makar's pass and returned it 30 yards to the end zone in the fourth.
Boyd finished with 101 yards on seven carries, and Bourque completed 10 of 14 passes for 218 yards.
Island Coast 17 14 7 7 - 45
North FM 0 0 0 6 - 6
IC - FG, Bourque 26
IC - Russaw 3 run (Bourque kick)
IC - Mitchell 52 pass from Bourque (Bourque kick)
IC - Russaw 65 run (Bourque kick)
IC - Russaw 40 pass from Bourque (Bourque kick)
IC - Boyd 60 run (Bourque kick)
IC - Lambert 30 interception return (Bourque kick)
NFM - Byrd 25 pass from Makar (kick failed)
Golden Gate 48, Mariner 14: After a slow start, Golden Gate outmanned and outmuscled the Tritons while spoiling homecoming night.
Mariner methodically drove the ball to the Titans' 30-yard line, chewing up most of the first quarter clock in the process, but on fourth-and-two, the Titans stiffened and forced Mariner to give the ball on downs.
Golden Gate used its superior size and strength in moving the ball on the ground. Calerb D'Haiti powered his way for one TD and Isaiah D'Haiti rambled in from 10 yards out.
Trailing 20-0 at halftime, the Tritons finally came to life in the third quarter. Jonah Markovits found Malcolm Ferdinand down the left sideline for an 18-yard touchdown pass slicing the score to 20-6.
Trailing 28-6, Markovits again brought the crowd to its feet by hitting Ferdinand in stride from 48 yards out. Alston Williams converted the two-point attempt and the score was 28-14.
Mariner first-year coach James Hale was pleased with the effort saying, "We competed hard, playing a lot of 14-15 year-olds is hard because they are learning each week."
The Tritons (0-7) go on the road this Friday looking for their first win of the season at Lemon Bay.
Golden Gate 6 14 15 13 - 48
Mariner 0 0 14 0 - 14
GG - C. D'Haiti 3 run (kick failed)
GG - I. D'Haiti 10 run (Condomina run)
GG - Villar 48 pass from Condomina (kick failed)
M - Ferdinand 18 pass from Markovits (kick failed)
GG - Enyart 16 pass from Condomina (Romelus kick)
M - Ferdinand 42 pass from Markovits (Williams run)
GG - C.D'Haiti 3 run (Romelus kick)
GG - I. D'Haiti 18 run (kick failed)
Ida Baker 31, Booker 28 (OT): Junior quarterback Sage Attwood was impressive last Friday as the Bulldogs improved to a school record 7-0, and they achieved it with a tough road victory in Sarasota.
Attwood took the Bulldogs on an 80-yard mission with time running out in regulation, leading to Filander Barahona's game-tying 26-yard-field goal in the final seconds to force overtime.
After holding Booker scoreless in its first possession, the Bulldogs went to Barahona for the winning field goal on first down.
The Bulldogs (7-0, 1-0) face another tough road test this Friday against District 6A-12 title contender South Fort Myers (5-2, 1-0). The result likely will determine the district championship since the other two teams in the district, East Lee County and Lehigh, are both winless this season.