CHARLOTTE DOMINATES ON OFFENSE
By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
Charlotte’s offense took advantage of the Lely defense Friday night on the way to a 42-13 win.
The Tarpons didn’t just nickel and dime their way to the victory, either. It was more like dimes, quarters and half dollars.
On 39 offensive plays, Charlotte totaled 10 plays of 10 or more yards. Of those plays, four were between 15 and 25 yards, two more went for 37 and 42 yards, respectively, and then quarterback Dee Hicks had a passes of 43 and 58 yards.
Hicks’ 58-yard throw to D’Vonte Price gave the Tarpons a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter, and his 43-yarder went to Jacob White on the first drive. Price also had the 42-yard run prior to his big catch.
“We expected some rust, but it helped with our confidence to just come out with three touchdowns (on the first three drives),” Hicks said of the Tarpons first outing of the regular season after last week’s scheduled opener with Fort Lauderdale was cancelled by lightning.
Both White and Price also made an impact in the return game. Even though Price had the touchdown on offense, it was White who returned a kick for a score.
“That was real nice,” Price said of his teammate’s big play. “I got a little big when he got that. It was real nice to see.”
Lely was probably feeling good after it scored its first touchdown with 5:10 remaining in the second quarter, but White quickly put an end to that. The senior returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for the scoore, and completely stifled any momentum the Trojans had gained.
Even though Lely did find the end zone again later in the game, the Tarpons never allowed them within 20 points after the second quarter.
By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports
ITEMS OF CONCERN
Port Charlotte may have dominated Friday night’s contest against Barron Collier, rushing for 414 yards en route to a 33-7 victory, but that didn’t stop head coach Jordan Ingman from noticing the two things that did go wrong in the game — penalties and turnovers.
Penalties were an issue in the preseason game against Victory Christian, when the Pirates committed five personal fouls and a total of 90 penalty yards. They appeared to have cleaned it up in last week’s season-opening win against Lemon Bay when they only committed two infractions.
Yellow flags, however, were flying all over the field again Friday night.
Port Charlotte was called for nine penalties for 90 yards, including two personal fouls. The Pirates also lost two fumbles, both near midfield.
Take away the mistakes and Port Charlotte could’ve scored at least 40 points.
“I told them to enjoy it because they deserved this victory but we still have a lot to clean up,” Ingman said. “We have a lot we need to get better at. Obviously you saw the penalties so we have a lot to get better at. But right now I’m going to focus on their effort because they work so hard. There are so many things that nobody in this stadium sees that goes into this team and they deserve this win.”
Some of that is the countless effort the offensive line puts in during practice each week as well as quarterback Paul Barnes’ command of the offense. Minus two fumbles, Barnes ran Port Charlotte’s option offense to a “T.”
“It’s dictated based off what they do because we read it,” Ingman said. “If they take away one guy we give the ball to another guy so that’s more of a testament to our quarterback making good decisions and once our kids get the football, they’re making good decisions with the football in their hands. There are a lot of people who deserve credit there, especially the offensive line. Those guys up front get blamed for a lot of things, but they deserve a lot of credit.”
By Steve Knapp, Sun Correspondent
Avon Park showed its offensive weapons in a 41-3 beating of DeSoto County Friday night.
The Red Devils scored the game’s first 20 points before the Bulldogs (0-1), broke through on a 40-yard field goal from Cesar Barajas early in the second half. Avon Park, however, quickly ended any hopes of a DeSoto comeback with a touchdown on the first play after the kickoff.
Montrae Braswell and Dee Kerney scored on runs of 47 and six yards, respectively early in the first half before Moses Satine finished off the half with a 12-yard pass for a score that capped an 87-yard march. Each of the three added a touchdown in the second half.
DeSoto County managed just 205 yards in offense with 178 of them coming on the ground. Neo Hillard led the rushers with 74 yards on 11 carries with LoQuan Griffin adding 70 yards on nine rushes.