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Red Knights take care of business, bury Wolfpack, 41-13

November 3, 2018
By CJ HADDAD ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

It was a business trip for North Fort Myers (7-3) Friday night as the Red Knights conquered South Fort Myers (1-9) 41-13 at Wolfpack stadium in each school's regular season finale.

North's victory should just about lock up a road playoff game, as the Red Knights have hit their stride when it means the most, having gone 7-1 to finish out the season after starting 0-2, one of those losses coming to potential playoff foe, Fort Myers (the other being undefeated Riverdale).

"I think that the guys are doing a great job," said North Head Coach Dwayne Mack. "We don't have the 5 stars, the 3 stars, and all the major (accolades), but our guys just find a way to win. I always tell them, 'If it's important to you, you'll find a way,' and these guys just keep fighting. They lift weights and they bust their butt and do everything we ask them to do, and again, now they're starting to gel and become more of a family-that's all you want from a team, to just become a family."

Two members of the Red Knight family made school history Friday, as two seniors, QB Jesse Charles and WR Clayton Savinsky, broke school records for passing yards and receiving touchdowns in a season respectively.

Savinsky has 14 TD receptions and Charles is just over 1,669 passing yards.

"To be honest, I would like to thank my linemean. Without them, our passes, our connections, would not be happening. They really stepped up this year," said Charles.

"I mean, man, we put in so much work, and they still slept on us before we came into the season. So we just came in, and we're showing everyone what we can do -- going to the playoffs now," said Savinsky. "It just feels great. We're local people, we've been here forever and our names are going to be here for a while now."

"It's nice that it sticks for a while," added Charles.

Their chemistry was quickly concocted as Charles arrived only a week before the regular season started, his family being on a missionary trip in Haiti.

They've built a strong relationship, the two being on the same page and having strong communication skills whether it's verbal or physical gestures.

Coach Mack couldn't say enough about the character of the two -- coming to practice each day with positive attitudes and smiles on their faces.

Though it was Charles and Savinsky that were history-making Knights, senior Shomari Mason was exceptional on the ground for North, pounding the rock for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns on the night.

Mason opened the scoring with a 16-yard touchdown run, but South fired back quickly as a Charles interception gave South the ball on the Knights 15-yard line.

Senior running back Freddie Ward punched it in from the 2, making the score 7-6 North halfway through the first quarter.

The Red Knights would unravel 34 straight points on the Wolfpack, featuring another Mason touchdown run, two Savinksy and Charles connections -- one being a quick screen pass that Savinsky broke up the left sideline for 62 yards.

Hunter Kobylanski and Chris Lucas each added Red Knights touchdown runs as well.

South's Malik Curtis would bring back a North kickoff for a 75-yard touchdown return in the fourth quarter.

Coach Mack praised his defense, especially its run stopping ability, holding Wolfpack runners to well under 100 yards on the ground.

"You've got to have a great run defense," Mack said of what makes a team successful. "If you look around the county, you look at the Charlottes, the Fort Myers, the Naples, they do those three things -- they're physical, run the football and have a great run defense. You try and find successful programs and try and model your program after that."

Mack gave his team all the kudos for buying into that model, and staying even keeled throughout the year, never losing focus on the goal.

It seemed clear that a few of the Red Knight players want to see Fort Myers in the first round of the playoffs, looking to avenge a week 2 loss.

Coach Mack got a chuckle out of that, saying, "Next thing you know, they're going to say they want 'Bama (Alabama)."

"I just want to get in the playoffs," Mack said. "Again, it's not what you want -- you just want to get in the playoffs, and you want to play well, and that's all we ask for. Whoever we play next week -- we always say each week is a season, and we don't want Fort Myers, we want 'Bama."

The positive, cheerful attitude of Coach Mack is only one of a coach who feels confident in his group and the way they're playing at the most crucial time of the year.

Playoff scheduling will be announced Sunday.

NORTH FORT MYERS13 22 6 0 -- 41

SOUTH FORT MYERS 6 0 0 7 -- 13

First Quarter

NFM - Mason, 16-yard run (Bennet kick) 10:23

SFM - Ward, 2-yard run (kick failed) 6:57

NFM - Lucas, 7-yard run (kick failed) 2:16

Second Quarter

NFM - Kobylanski, 4-yard run (2-pt fail) 3:51

NFM - Savinsky, 62-yard reception (Charles 2-pt) 1:15

NFM - Mason, 4-yard run (Charles run) :36

Third Quarter

NFM - Savinsky, 32-yard reception (kick failed) :10

Fourth Quarter

SFM -Curtis, 75-yard kickoff return (Leon kick) 11:40

- Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj



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