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North Fort Myers beats Palmetto Ridge 15-10

September 7, 2018
By PETE SISK ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

They may be the Red Knights, but their coach says they're blue-collar players at heart.

North Fort Myers ground out its first win of the season Friday, throttling the Palmetto Ridge Bears 15-10 in the Red Knights' home opener.

There was one spectacular play, with Shomari Mason taking in a short Jesse Charles pass and slicing through the Bear defense for 63 yards and the winning touchdown.

Article Photos

North Fort Myers senior Isiah Taylor (34) celebrates a quarterback sack against Palmetto Ridge Friday night. To view more photos from the game, see the Cape Coral Breeze Facebook page.

But for the most part, it was hard work that carried the Red Knights.

"These kids, they represent North Fort Myers well," North head coach Dwayne Mack said after earning his first coaching victory. "I've been in Southwest Florida for 17 years. I've been in the Cape for a majority of it. You think of a North Fort Myers kid, what do you think of? Blue-collar, hard-nosed. He's gonna hit you in the mouth. If you hit him, he's going to wipe the blood off and he's coming to get you. These kids represent North Fort Myers, the school and the community."

Charles had two TD passes on the night, also hitting Clayton Savinsky from 22 yards out for the first North score. Savinsky then ran in a two-point conversion.

The only touchdown drive of the night -- more one big play than a drive -- that Palmetto Ridge managed came after a bad snap on a North punt gave the Bears the ball at the Red Knights' 34. Two plays managed nothing, then Evan Rodriguez hit Kamonte Grimes for 34 yards and the TD.

The Rodriguez to Grimes connection was all the offense the Bears could muster. The two combined for 94 first-half yards. And that was it.

"That number 3 (Grimes) is a great player, but we just had to scheme up and put a guy in front of him," Mack said. "He's a pretty good player in open space, but you put a guy in front of him and disrupt his timing, then we shut him down."

For the night, North Fort Myers held Palmetto Ridge to 118 yards of total offense.

By comparison, Mason accounted for 136 yards, 73 rushing and 63 on his one pass reception. Charles had 141 yards passing.

Mason, a senior, is in his first season with the Red Knights after transferring from Ida Baker over the summer.

It could have been an even bigger night for Mason, but a 50-yard punt return and a 15-yarder were called back by penalties.

Penalties were North's biggest problem on Friday. The Red Knights were flagged 13 times for 130 yards.

"That's always our Achilles heel," Mack said. "We're not disciplined in the classroom, we're not disciplined here. We've got to take care of the little things, the penalties. We take care of that, and I think we can be a great team."

North trailed 7-0, led 8-7, and trailed 10-8 after a 25-yard CJ Moya field goal.

Even Moya's field goal should be considered a win for the North Fort Myers defense. Palmetto Ridge had first and goal on the 6, and got nowhere.

One play from scrimmage and 15 ticks of the scoreboard clock after the field goal, Mason went 63 yards and gave the Red Knights the lead for good.

"I just followed my linemen," Mason said. "They're the biggest boys on the field. That's all I can do, follow my linemen and make the play."

North, which opened the year with road losses at Riverdale and Fort Myers, will be home again for its next two games. Island Coast visits this coming Friday. After the Red Knights get a week off, Port Charlotte will come calling.

PALMETTO RIDGE 7 3 0 0 -- 10

NORTH FORT MYERS 8 7 0 0 -- 15

First quarter

PR - Kamonte Grimes 34 pass from Evan Rodriguez (CJ Moya kick). 7:51.

NFM - Clayton Savinsky 22 pass from Jesse Charles (Savinsky run) 2:00.

Second quarter

PR - Moya FG 25 8:56.

NFM - Shomari Mason 63 pass from Charles (Ethan Bennett kick) 8:41.

In other games:

Cape Coral 43, East Lee County 0: Coach Dale More's Seahawks are 3-0 after cruising past the Jaguars. Jeron Newson scored twice, catching a 20-yard pass from Parker O'Dell and running 11 yards for a touchdown. O'Dell had a 35-yard touchdown run and hit Jayden Feliz for 14 yards and another score. Adrian Canty had a 2-yard touchdown run and Anthony Cody scored from 5 yards out. The Cape special teams earned two points with a safety. Cape Coral has a big game coming up next Friday at Port Charlotte.

Oasis 67, Evangelical Christian 33: The Sharks are 3-0 after Friday's big road win at ECS (0-3) in Fort Myers. Daniel Rennie had a huge night - touchdown passes of 75 yards to Ashton Roy, 45 yards to Tanner Rennie, 60 yards to Jaheed Marcus, and 15 yards to Weston Wilson, and also ran for two scores (15 yards and 1 yard). Other Oasis scores came from Justin Shelton (a 70-yard run and a 55-yarder), Marcus's 12-yard run and Shane Hayes's 55-yard interception return. Oasis has a home game with LaBelle next Friday.

Bradenton Bayshore 8, Island Coast 0: It was Island Coast's best defensive effort of the year, but the Gators fell to 0-3 on the season. In fact, the Island Coast defense pitched a shutout. The Bruins scored on a fumble recovery and a safety. Bayshore improved to 3-0. Island Coast plays at North Fort Myers this coming Friday.

Estero 23, Ida Baker 13: Kaeden Price caught a 47-yard touchdown pass from Evan Hubbard, and Patrick McCabe returned a kick 86 yards for a Bulldogs touchdown. Both Ida Baker and Estero are 1-2 on the season. The Bulldogs travel to Charlotte High next week.

Boys Golf

Ida Baker Bulldog Invitational: Sarasota Riverview's Josh Perna was the medalist with a 5-under 67 in Friday's tournament at Kelly Greens. Bishop Verot's Reece Kyle tied for third at 1-under 71. Sarasota Riverview won the team title with a 293 total, 16 strokes better than Gainesville PK Yonge. Greg Moore was Ida Baker's top finisher at 84.

Ida Baker Bulldog Invitational

At Kelly Greens CC, Par 72

Team: Sarasota Riverview 293, Gainesville PK Yonge 309, Lakewood Ranch 311, Braden River 314, Miami Christopher Columbus 315, Miami Archbishop McCarthy 322, Sebring 234, Venice 335, Bishop Verot 336, Lake Wales 337, Port Charlotte 359, Ida Baker 373.

Individual: Josh Perna, Sarasota Riverview, 67; Drew Angelo, Lakewood Ranch, 70, Jake Davis, PK Yonge 71, Reece Kyle, Bishop Verot 71.

Ida Baker individual scores: Greg Moore 84, Blake Donnelly 91, Andrew Conforte 98, Josh Diggs 100



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