By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
IN A NUTSHELL: After a dismal first half for Charlotte High School, the Tarpons made halftime adjustments to comeback against North Fort Myers in a 24-21 win. A Travon McClary interception in the third quarter completely changed the game. It allowed Charlotte to steal momentum and score two unanswered touchdowns and eventually go up 24-14 late in the fourth quarter.
DID YOU SEE THAT: With just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter, the halftime score of 14-10 remained, and the Tarpons had the ball at the North Fort Myers seven-yard line when it was fourth-and-two on the drive after McClary’s interception. Rather than settle for a field goal, coach Binky Waldrop elected to go for it, and the gamble paid off. Running back Maleek Williams rushed for a seven-yard touchdown to give the Tarpons a 17-14 lead.
THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN: Savorion Warren intercepted Red Knight quarterback Ben Pogue for his seventh pick of the season with under 20 seconds left in the game. This was moments after North Fort Myers recovered an onside kick following its touchdown to bring the score to 24-21.
UNSUNG HERO: Warren’s interception might not have even been his biggest play of the game. The North Fort Myers punter completely shanked a punt after the Red Knight opening drive stalled near mid field. When Warren scooped up the poor kick, he found himself with nobody near him, and ran it 47 yards for an early Charlotte touchdown.
THEY SAID IT: “We just kept battling. Defensively, we made some big mistakes (in the first half). We blew a coverage, and we weren’t doing things very well. We made some adjustments at halftime, and I thought we came out in the second half and played an outstanding game defensively.” — Charlotte coach Binky Waldrop
CHARLOTTE 24, N. FORT MYERS 21
N. Fort Myers 7 3 7 7 — 24
Charlotte 7 7 0 7 — 21
CH — Savorion Warren 47 punt return (Kenny Scribner kick), 9:13
NFM —Luis Alfonzo 16 pass from Ben Pogue (Ethan Bennett kick), 1:46
NFM — Bryce Adkins 44 pass from Pogue (Bennett kick), 9:13
CH — Scribner 23 FG, 7:00
CH — Williams 7 run (Scribner kick), 2:11
CH — Williams 2 run (Scribner kick), 3:59
NFM — Errick Harris 6 pass from Pogue (Bennett kick), 0:25.6
First Downs 17 9
Rushes/yds 39-223 29-217
Passing yds 291 10
C-A-I 19-32-3 3-12-0
Fumbles/lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties/yds 5-35 4-40
Rushing: North Fort Myers: Zaquandre White 18-74, Terry Lindsey 4-52, Fanajae Gotay 12-47, Ben Pogue 5-(-2); Charlotte: Dee Hicks 6-89, Maleek Williams 17-87, Andrew Grace 5-28, Lavell Cudjo 2-8, Travon McClary 1-5.
Passing: North Fort Myers: Pogue 19-31-291-3, White 0-1-0-0; Charlotte: Hicks 2-11-16-0, Williams 1-1-(-6)-0.
Receiving: North Fort Myers: Bryce Adkins 2-65, Luis Alfonso 8-59, Joe Wilkins 4-59, Brandon King 2-41, Errick Harris 2-36, White 1-6; Charlotte: Jacob White 2-16, Grace 1-(-6).