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Estero knocks off Cape 14-9

September 2, 2017
By LYLE FITZSIMMONS ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Larry Gary could have taken the easy way out.

Considering his team had played a rain-delayed game just three days prior, then seeing Friday night's kickoff pushed back by another two hours, the Cape Coral High coach could have leaned on bad luck and spent gas tanks as reasons for a 14-9 loss to visiting Estero.

Instead, he challenged his players to look in their mirrors.

"All we're doing now is checking your character," he told the Seahawks moments after a final whistle shortly before midnight. "You're not as good as you think you are."

The loss came on the heels of a 17-2 defeat of powerhouse South Fort Myers Tuesday that yielded a noticeable swagger as Cape's players went through pre-game preparations. The bravado continued into the game as the Seahawks celebrated a series of defensive stops in which the Wildcats were held to 25 total yards on their first 16 plays from scrimmage.

Cape scored on a five-yard jaunt by quarterback Dwayne Emilus with 2:09 left in the first half, capping an eight-play, 78-yard possession. Following another stout defensive stand - four plays, minus-4 yards - the Seahawks drove to Estero's 23-yard line before the drive was cut short at halftime.

Fact Box

Estero 0 0 14 0 - 14

Cape Coral 0 6 3 0 - 9

CC - Emilus 5 run (kick blocked)

CC - FG, Stone 38

E - Peachey 10 run (Mendes kick)

E - Bosi 20 punt block return (Mendes kick)

Cape stretched the edge to nine points with a 38-yard field goal by Cooper Stone just 3:14 after the intermission, but the Wildcats struck back 35 seconds later to make it 9-7 after a three-play, 48-yard drive that was set up by a 22-yard kickoff return by Jacob Peachey.

The Seahawks managed just four yards on three plays across their ensuing possession, which also included two of their season-high 12 penalties. They watched the lead evaporate when Stone's punt was blocked around the 25-yard line and run back for a touchdown by Max Bosi.

"We came back out for the second half and they just ran the ball down our throats and got the momentum," Gary said. "What really topped it off was the blocked kick. That was the key and we never could get it back after that."

Indeed, after Bosi reached the end zone with 5:46 left in the third quarter, Cape had four possessions that resulted in 14 plays from scrimmage, 16 total yards and precisely two first downs.

In fact, the Seahawks never got closer than Estero's 33-yard line on those drives. They went backwards from that point of progress when a snap from center went through Emilus' legs on a third-and-two, resulting in an eight-yard loss as well as a 15-yard personal foul penalty.

Emilus then misfired on a throw prior to a punt and Cape never again got past its own 25.

"It brought us back down to reality that you can't make a bunch of mistakes and expect to win," Gary said. "One game doesn't tell how good you are. We've got to be more consistent. Penalties, big plays and turnovers. Those are the three categories that will cost you a football game."



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