By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
PORT CHARLOTTE — Two teams learned Friday night that preseason results aren’t all that important.
Port Charlotte and North Port each had exhibition games go quite differently than their regular-season openers where the Pirates defeated the Bobcats 54-26.
“It was satisfying, but we still have a long way to go,” Port Charlotte coach Jordan Ingman said. “What was really satisfying was out effort. … Last week was so frustrating because we’re so much better than we showed, and we work way too hard to let a single Friday night go by where we don’t put our best foot forward.”
The Pirates let the Bobcats hang around for a little while as they quickly fell behind 14-7 in the first quarter before rattling off 34 unanswered points to close out the first half. They eventually held a 47-14 lead.
“We had a couple of turnovers, we gave up a few big plays, and it happened kind of quick,” North Port coach Brian Hatler said. “We got down on ourselves a little bit, and when you’re playing a good team and make mistakes, they capitalize.”
T.J. Luther had a career night offensively. The senior carried the ball three times for 146 yards and two touchdowns, and also caught three passes for 69 yards and another pair of scores.
“He’s a special young man. He can do everything. He can run, he can catch, he can throw, he can tackle,” Ingman said. “He’s one of our best blockers. Usually playmakers don’t take pride in that, but T.J. takes pride in being a great teammate.”
Former Bobcat Octavious Cummings put on a nice display against his former team, totaling 115 yards rushing on 11 carries.
Port Charlotte lineman Devin Leacock had an impressive night with two sacks, a forced fumble and a tackle for a loss.
For North Port, quarterback Devon Allen completed 13 passes for 227 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. Allen led the Bobcats on a 17-play, 84-yard drive that spanned the third and fourth quarters when the game was already out of reach, but that didn’t stop him from finding D.J. Bradford for a 16-yard score.
Allen also found C.K. Poulos for four catches, 123 yards and two touchdowns.
PORT CHARLOTTE 54, NORTH PORT 26
North Port 14 0 0 12 — 26
Port Charlotte 14 27 6 6 — 54
NP — Andrew Bosma 10 pass from Devon Allen (kick blocked), 7:38
PC — T.J. Luther 65 run (Derek McCormick kick), 7:21
NP — C.K. Poulos 69 pass from Allen (Javon Howell run), 6:06
PC — Barnes 5 run (McCormick kick), 2:48
PC — Octavious Cummings 30 run (McCormick kick), 9:07
PC — Luther 18 pass from Barnes (run failed), 6:58
PC — Shamar Harvey 2 run (McCormick kick), 1:53
PC — Luther 38 pass from Barnes (McCormick kick), 0:51.2
PC — Luther 36 run (run failed), 6:09
NP — D.J. Bradford 16 pass from Alleb (kick failed), 9:47
PC — Bo Guy 4 run (McCormick kick), 5:35
NP — Bradford 31 pass from Allen (kick failed), 1:19
First Downs 11 13
Rushes/yds 29-0 45-419
Passing yds 227 76
C-A-I 14-26-1 4-7-0
Fumbles/lost 2-0 1-1
Penalties/yds 2-15 5-50
Rushing: North Port: Javon Howell 12-49, Brian Taylor 5-10, Jalien Whye 2-7, Ja’Nyrein Washington 4-7, C.K. Poulos 1-(-10), Devon Allen 6-(-63). Port Charlotte: T.J. Luther 3-146-2, Octavious Cummings 10-115-1, Shawn Campbell 7-61, Marc Jean-Louis 7-41, Paul Barnes 9-29-1, Shamar Harvey 6-14-1, Bo Guys 3-13-1.
Passing: North Port: Allen 14-26-227-4. Port Charlotte: Barnes 4-7-76-2
Receiving: North Port: Poulos 4-123-1, D.J. Bradford 3-57-2, Andrew Bosma 3-23-1, Washington 1-14, Shevan Price 1-4, Phillip Osipov 1-4. Port Charlotte: Luther 3-69-2, Guy 1-7.