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North pulls away late, downs Mariner 30-6

September 7, 2019
By PETE SISK ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

As the night wore on, the heat and the North Fort Myers Red Knights took their toll on the Mariner Tritons.

North slowly but surely pulled away for a 30-6 win on a sweltering Friday night at Mariner's Tony McKenna Field.

Parker O'Dell passed for two Red Knights touchdowns and ran for a third score.

The game was scoreless for most of the first half, 14-6 at intermission and 20-6 going into the final period before the Red Knights (3-0) pulled away.

North coach Dwayne Mack was able to put his advantage in depth to good use, particularly at running back.

"We have five guys we rotate in and out of there," Mack said. "We keep rotating them in, rotating them in. They're fresh. One guy gets tired, we throw in another guy who keeps pounding."

In all, the Red Knights piled up 336 yards on the ground. Of those, 136 came from Christian Morgan, who put the cap on the night's scoring with a 30-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Brett Reed, who kicked a 43-yard field goal and was just wide on a 50-yard attempt, was also part of that running back committee. He ran for 73 yards on seven second-half carries.

"This was a trap game," Mack said of playing a Mariner team that came in 0-2 sandwiched between a tough win against Riverdale and old rival Fort Myers. "Hat's off to Travis (Smith, the Mariner coach). He doesn't have a lot of depth, but Travis is a hell of a coach. He's good for this school, he's good for this community, he's good for this community.

"It's something that you see, that there's not a lot of depth in the county. We've got to get more kids interested in football."

It was still near 90 degrees, with plenty of Florida humidity, even after the game. The heat was uncomfortable enough for those just watching. For teenage boys slamming into each other play after play, it was brutal.

There were several play stoppages in the second half of a steamy night, with players on both sides falling victim to cramps.

By the fourth quarter, the outnumbered and outgunned Tritons players would drag themselves off the field, sometimes collapsing on the sidelines. But, after a drink and a play or two off, they would head right back into battle.

One popular fluid -- for its ability to fight dehydration, not for its taste -- is "pickle juice," as the combination of brine and vinegar is known. "Drink it!" came a shout from the stands as the look on one player's face showed that it wasn't exactly to his liking.

"They are in shape, but there's only so much you can do when it's so hot like this," Smith said. "You saw how big they (the Red Knights) are. You saw the heart of this team right here. I love the heart of this team that I have right here, and I'll take that heart over that size.

"Our coaches did a good job of subbing in and out, and stretching, and pickle juice and all that stuff. Again, I'll take that heart any day."

By game's end, Mariner coaches were subbing in players on nearly every play. As one set of defensive linemen started out to relieve those on the field, assistants were calling for the next three to get ready.

All the first-half scoring took place in a span of less than two minutes late in the second quarter.

North finally broke the ice when O'Dell hit big receiver Daniel Pilgrim on a 43-yard catch and run for the TD 3:07 before intermission.

The 7-0 lead didn't last long.

On their first play after the kickoff, the Tritons scored when Jalen King swept around end and just kept going for an 80-yard TD. with 2:52 remaining A failed extra point kept the Red Knights up by 7-6.

North responded by roaring right back down the field. O'Dell connected with Elvis Berrios for a 20-yard score with 1:18 before the half.

O'Dell's 20-yard keeper stretched North's lead 20-6 in the third quarter.

Reed's field goal came early in the fourth period, and Morgan ran it in with 5:37 remaining.

While King had the big play for Mariner, Cade Reynolds did his usual job as the bulldozer of the Tritons' running game. Reynolds ran for 136 yards on 25 carries, numbers that would look even better had he not intentionally run around to take a loss, running out the clock deep in his own end just before halftime.

"For his size, he's got the heart of a champion," Mack said of Reynolds.

The Tritons used both Dylan Hinz and Dylan Silverman at quarterback on Friday, with Hinz often shifting to receiver when Silverman came in. Hinz was the game one starter, with Silverman at the helm in week two.

After opening against three larger schools, Mariner will begin District 5A-13 play next week at Arcadia Desoto County.

"We've got some good things, some great momentum going into district play," Smith said. "Our kids have heart, and I'm excited going into district play."

"Travis is a good guy, a good coach," Mack said. "It's going to work out in his favor. I love Travis, man."

As for North Fort Myers, a showdown looms with old rival Fort Myers (1-2). That Green Wave team will be spoiling for a fight after being upset 27-25 to Cypress Lake on Friday.

"I can't worry about what's going on right now" with Fort Myers, Mack said. "I have to get ready to play them next week."

NORTH FORT MYERS 0 14 6 10 -- 30

MARINER 0 0 6 0 -- 6

2nd Quarter

N: Daniel Pilgrim, 43-yard pass from Parker O'Dell. Brett Reed kick. 3:07.

M: Jalen King, 80-yard run. Kick failed. 2:52.

N: Elvis Barrios, 20-yard pass from O'Dell. Reed kick. 1:18.

3rd Quarter

N: O'Dell, 30-yard run. Kick failed. 5:17.

4th Quarter

N: Reed, 43-yard FG. 10:47.

N: Christian Morgan, 30-yard run. Reed kick. 5:36.


Lely 6, Ida Baker 3: The Bulldogs took a 3-0 lead on Joseph Nappoli's 32-yard field in the fourth quarter, but fell when Lely's Edouard Lens picked off a pass and ran 64 yards for the winning touchdown with 3:34 to play. Ida Baker (2-1), which suffered its first loss, is home for the Crosstown Showdown with Island Coast (2-1) on Friday.

Bishop Verot 33, Palmetto Ridge 8: Tequan Chatman scored on runs of 80 and 53 yards for Bishop Verot. Mallik Curtis ran the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown, Jacob Azizi connected with John Taylor for a 24-yard TD pass, and Nick Perez ran one in from a yard out. The 3-0 Vikings travel to Naples to face Neumann next week.

Cross country

Fort Myers High School Invitational:

Girls (22 schools participating)

Team: 1. Sarasota 64, 2. Fort Myers 77, 3. Bishop Verot 106. Also: 7. Cape Coral 182, 12. Ida Baker, 16. North Fort Myers, 21. Island Coast.

Top 30 individual: 14. Jenny Jacoby (CC) 21.45.6. 15. Mackenzie Thomas (BV) 21:46.7. 19. Lauren Mills (BV) 21.52.4. 23. Hailey Albrecht (BV) 21.59.9. 25. Melissa Winckler (IB) 22.03.2. 26. Jessica Bedoya (BV) 22:05.7. 29. Taylar Sherman (CC) 22:17.5. 30. Maran Pflieger (BV) 22:18.0.

Boys (29 schools participating)

Team: 1. Fort Myers 80. 2. Naples 85. 3. Estero 88. Also: 5. Ida Baker 160. 11. Bishop Verot. 14. North Fort Myers. 22. Island Coast. 23. Cape Coral. 25. Mariner. 28. Oasis.

Top 30 indivdual: 5. Franklin Caceres (IB) 17:28.8. 17. Cooper Banks (BV) 18:02.8. 26. Brenden Faulkner (IB) 18:29.1. 30. Declan Ziomek (IB) 18:34.0. Also: 31. Nekhi Perry (NFM) 18:37.4.



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