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Fort Myers dashes North's playoff hopes, 49-28

Greenies backfield does damage against Red Knights

November 9, 2019
By CJ HADDAD ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The North Fort Myers High School football season came to an end Friday night at Sam Sirianni Field at Edison Stadium, as the Red Knights dropped their first round playoff matchup with Fort Myers, 49-28.

The immensely talented backfield of the Greenies was on display all night, as three different backs found the end zone for Fort Myers on its way to the second round of the Class 6A Region 4 state tournament.

"Our offensive kids accepted the challenge," said Fort Myers Head Coach Sam Sirianni Jr. "We knew North would come out (hard), they have a good football team, and we've been fortunate in two games offensively to make some plays and get ahead of them.

Article Photos

North Fort Myers senior running back Christian Morgan (2) runs the ball during the Red Knights' playoff game against Fort Myers Friday night. To view more photos from the game, see the Cape Coral Breeze Facebook page.

"I'm proud of the guys, beating a good team twice is always difficult."

When North Head Coach Dwayne Mack was asked what he saw tonight, the second-year coach only had one word: speed.

"They've got more speed than us, and that's the bottom line," Mack said. "For losing 25 seniors (last year), these guys fought hard."

Fort Myers certainly got out ahead early and never looked back.

After winning the toss and electing to receive, the first play from scrimmage was a reverse handoff to senior John Coleus who ran up the left sideline for 80 yards and a quick 7-0 lead.

Fort Myers ended the quarter with another score, this time it was junior Zemare Harvin running in it from 5 yards out to extend the lead to 14-0.

The Greenies forced North to turn the ball over on downs roughly halfway through the second quarter and once again capitalized.

Junior quarterback Carter Lane found Coleus over the middle for a 29-yard touchdown strike. Coleus worked his way across the field and found daylight up the right side for 6.

North responded just three minutes later with a score of its own.

Senior running back Christian Morgan found the end zone from 3 yards out to cap a 9-play, 55-yard drive to cut the deficit to 21-7.

Fort Myers only needed four plays to regain its three-score lead, as Harvin broke off a 34-yard touchdown run on the Greenies ensuing possession.

The Red Knights came right back at the home team, as junior wide receiver Daniel Pilgrim returned the kickoff 60 yards for a touchdown to make it a 28-14 Fort Myers lead heading into the break.

North failed to score in the third quarter while Fort Myers added two touchdowns via a Harvin 4-yard run and a Yasias Young 1-yard run.

"When you have the arsenal of running back/receivers -- we have such versatility with John Coleus, Yasias and Harvin -- and just go down the line," Sirianni said. "We're able to spread the ball around, and that's a credit to our offensive coaches and our kids."

North wouldn't go quietly into the night, as senior quarterback Parker O'Dell ran in a score from 3 yards out. Morgan also scored again on a 38-yard run.

O'Dell finished 12-for-33 with 119 yards passing, an interception and 68 rushing yards with the score. Morgan totaled 132 yards and two touchdowns on 16 attempts.

For the Greenies, Harvin rushed for 145 yards and three touchdowns, Young ran for 99 yards and a score, and Coleus scampered for 154 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, as well as his 29-yard touchdown reception.

Lane amassed 169 yards through the air, going 12-for-18 with the touchdown and interception.

Sirianni was ready for any changes to North's style or play-calling coming into the game, as the two previously met this season, with Fort Myers having the upper hand in that game as well.

"We knew they would change," he said. "Coach Mack does a great job. We knew they'd coach them up, and they did. They played a totally different scheme, and it took us a series or two."

For Mack, he's looking forward to what he's built to continue next season with a solid young core and players coming up from a junior varsity squad that went undefeated this year.

"I'm feeling pretty good about the foundation we've built," Mack said. "These guys work hard. We've got to do some things in the offseason, but we'll be good to go.

Seniors O'Dell and Morgan were certainly disappointed in the outcome, but look back fondly on their time with the Red Knights.

"This last year has been memorable," O'Dell said. "We came here to make the playoffs, we did, we made new friends and got stronger and it was just one of the best years of football."

Morgan echoed O'Dell's sentiments.

"This was my first time in the postseason, and I'm sad it had to end this way, but, I'm just going to work hard and just go to college and play football there, too," Morgan said.

Both seniors tout the North Fort Myers football program as the best around, and said their time there was something they'll not soon forget.

"Best program," Morgan said.

O'Dell agreed.

"The coaches care about you, it's like a big family over here," O'Dell said.

Sirianni will have his squad ready to go next week against #2 seed Dillard, who defeated Lely 48-6.

"Every week, half the field gets cut in half and the stakes get higher," Sirianni said. "We know we're probably going over to Fort Lauderdale to play Dillard, they're undefeated, 11-0, but we like the challenge, and our kids will be prepared, and we look forward to it."

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj

NFM 0 14 0 14 -- 28

Fort Myers 14 14 14 7 -- 49

1st Quarter

FM: John Coleus, 80-yard run (Hunter Rimes kick), 11:44

FM: Zemare Harvin, 5-yard run (Rimes kick), 1:41

2nd Quarter

FM: Coleus, 29-yard reception from Carter Lane (Rimes kick), 8:37

NFM: Christian Morgan, 2-yard run (Brett Reed kick), 5:13

FM: Harvin, 34-yard run (Rimes kick), 3:29

NFM: Daniel Pilgrim, 60-yard kickoff return (Reed kick), 3:16

3rd Quarter

FM: Harvin, 4-yard run (Rimes kick), 8:32

FM: Yasias, Young 1-yard run (Rimes kick), 4:24

4th Quarter

NFM: Parker O'Dell, 3-yard run (Reed kick), 6:08

FM: Coleus, 34-yard run (Rimes kick), 4:06

NFM: Morgan, 38-yard run (Brandon Bush kick), 2:08



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