NORTH PORT — Devon Allen threw five touchdown passes — three of them to C.K. Poulos — and rushed for another as North Port pulled away in the second half for a 52-35 victory over Ida Baker Saturday afternoon.
Allen went 13-for-27 for 233 yards, most of those yards in a wild first half in which 66 points were scored.
Poulos took advantage of Baker’s press coverage and caught seven passes for 157 yards for North Port, which also got its ground game going, with both Brian Taylor and Javon Howell rushing for more than 100 yards.
“We just executed today. We got up on them at halftime and kept the pressure up,” Allen said. “They pressed up on C.K.
Said Poulos: “It starts with the line and watching film during the week. We saw the press coverage and we used it to our advantage.”
But while the offense did its part, North Port coach Brian Hatler said the team has a long way to go defensively after two straight sluggish performances.
“Offensively, we executed very well. Defensively, we made a couple mental errors and they have some playmakers. We gave them opportunities and they took advantage,” said Hatler, whose team returned to the field on Saturday morning after having Friday’s game postponed by rain and lightning. “I’m proud of the way we handled all the things we had to deal with.”
The Bobcats (1-1) opened the scoring just three minutes in when Allen found Poulos for their first touchdown, a 20-yard strike, for a 7-0 lead.
The Bulldogs responded when Christopher Kovacs hit Shomari Mason on a 56-yard touchdown pass to tie the game, only to have the Allen-Poulos connection strike again a few minutes later for a 14-7 edge. That lasted 18 seconds, as Mason returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for the tying score late in the first quarter.
After exchanging turnovers, North Port took the lead again on a 31-yard field goal from John-Victor Oliviera, only to have Baker take the lead for the first time as Mason turned quarterback and Kovacs receiver as they executed the flea-flicker, with Kovacs racing 78 yards to pay dirt and a 21-17 lead.
North Port took the lead to stay late in the half with 21 unanswered points. Allen connected with Ja’Nyrein Washington twice and Poulos once to make it 38-21.
Ida Baker (0-1) made it close at the end of the half when Kovacs found Joshua Nina to close the gap to 38-28 at half, but the Bobcats regrouped after halftime, with Jalien Whye scoring on a 14-yard run and Allen plunging in for a short sneak to blow the game open at 52-28.
Playing a game became a quest for Ida Baker. It’s preseason classic and season-opener were cancelled, and after Friday’s game was called, the team arrived back in North Port two hours late Saturday.
“We’re a young program and sometimes it’s good to have these moments, to learn about adversity and how things can change in a second,” Ida Baker coach Todd Nichols said. “This was a time for them to learn about delays and work through these things.”
NORTH PORT 52, IDA BAKER 35
Ida Baker 14 14 0 7 – 35
North Port 14 24 14 0 – 52
NP – C.K. Poulos 20 pass from Devon Allen (John Victor Oliviera kick), 9:16.
IB – Shomari Mason 58 pass from Christopher Kovacs (Michael Sheehan kick), 6:52.
NP – Poulos 20 pass from Allen (Oliviera kick), 3:32.
IB – Mason 98 kickoff return (Sheehan kick), 3:14.
NP – Oliviera 31-yard field goal, 9:19.
IB – Kovacs 78 pass from Mason (Sheehan kick), 8:59.
NP – Ja’Nyrein Washington 18 pass from Allen (Oliviera kick), 5:02.
NP – Poulos 26 pass from Allen (Oliviera kick), 2:16.
NP – Washington 2 pass from Allen (Oliviera kick), 1:08.
IB – Joshua Nina 26 pass from Kovacs (Sheehan kick), :31.
NP – Jalien Whye 14 run (Oliviera kick), 10:10.
NP – Allen 1 run (Oliviera kick), 7:22.
IB- Dominic Febles 2 run (Sheehan kick), 3:05.
First Downs 7 22
Rushes-Yards 28-74 48-311
Passing Yards 224 233
C-A-I 9-24-2 13-27-0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 7-57 11-85
Rushing: Ida Baker: Dominic Febles 21-57, Justin Shelton 3-10, Evan Hubbard 1-7, Christopher Kovacs 3-0. North Port: Javon Howell 16-105, Brian Taylor 15-101, Jalien Whye 8-57, Devon Allen 4-26, Ja’Nyrein Washington 3-16, Ryan Willis 2-6.
Passing: Ida Baker: Christopher Kovacs 7-20-104, Shomari Mason 1-1-78, Evan Hubbard 1-3-6. North Port: Devon Allen 13-27-233.
Receiving: Ida Baker: Shomari Mason 3-79, Christopher Kovacs 1-78, Joshua Nina 1-26, Patrick McCabe 1-9, Justin Eilert 1-6, Dominic Febles 1-2. North Port: C.K. Poulos 7-157, Ja’Nyrein Washington 4-50, Andrew Bosma 1-15, Ryan Willis 1-11.